I think that Guru Gobind Singh laid down the Khalsa principles in order to make sure that the Sikhs, although using violence to fight against injustice, would not leave the narrow path that leads to God.
If you want to understand Guru Gobind Singh’s concept of Sant Sipahi (saint-soldier) you only have to look at the example set by Bhai Ghanaya, who cared for all the wounded after the battle.
In spite of hardship suffered by the Sikhs caused by the Mughal government, Bhai Ghanaya kept seeing God’s presence in all. Bhai Ghanaya had just been part of fierce fighting, but he was not possessed by ‘krodh’ (anger), and served all the wounded, whether Mughal or Sikh.
Many Sikhs these days are angry. They are angry with the Muslims because of the terrible things that happened during partition in 1947 and they are angry with the Hindus because of what happened in India in the seventies and the eighties.
I understand why they are angry and it is of course easier for me not to be angry. I did not have to leave my home and lost many relatives in 1947 and neither I nor any of my relatives suffered during the attack on Harmandar Sahib or during the anti-Sikh pogroms after the murder of Indira Gandhi in 1984.
So if you feel that I am criticising you for failing the Guru’s very high standards, know that I understand your anger and know that I too make many mistakes. I can write nicely about kám (lust), krodh (anger), lobh (greed), moh (attachment) and ahankar (pride), but I struggle with these human inclinations like everyone else.
Let us not forget the past, neither the good nor the bad things, but let’s not look back in anger, as anger will damage us more than it will damage those who think that they should be our enemies.
A Gursikh, a Khalsa should be somebody who sees God in All, who will not judge a person on their label, but will judge only on their actions. Remember that there are plenty of rotten apples amongst us before we judge the Muslims or the Hindus.
Remember that in 1947 many Muslims were massacred or forced to leave the homes in which they had lived for generations. Remember that in the days of Mughal persecution and during partition some Muslims stood up for humanity. Equally in 1984 in Delhi there were Hindus who stood up against injustice.
And let us not be naive about the eighties in Panjab, we cannot blame all crimes against humanity on others. To me it is clear (and understandable) that many acted in anger against ‘the Hindus’ or the ‘Government agents’. We should not use suffering as an excuse for not being Guru’s Khalsa. Khalistan can only be achieved if we practise Sikhí, otherwise it will just be another corrupt South Asian state.