– Bibi Khalra lodges strong reply to election officer’s notice

Sikh24 Editors

Tarn Taran Sahib – Panjab – India, 23 April 2019. Replying to the District Election Officer’s notice regarding violation of model code of conduct, the PDA’s candidate Bibi Paramjit Kaur Khalra has said that the message of living Sikh master Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji was not only for the Sikh community but for the entire humanity.

She wrote in her reply that Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji teaches the principles of equality, helping the needy and meek ones, eradication of the caste system and welfare of entire humanity so she doesn’t find anything worth objection in following this ideology to contest the elections.

“I pain that you have sent me the show-cause notice on the complaint of those who once tried to oppress this great ideology with the use of tanks and by backing sacrilege episode,” she wrote.

Bibi Paramjit Kaur Khalra further wrote that she has not cheated with her constituents like the Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh did by taking oath of Gutka Sahib during the Punjab assembly polls.

“I think, this issue doesn’t need further heed as no one has any right to challenge the secularist and humanitarian ideology taught by the living Sikh master Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji,” she added.

It may be recalled here that after being pressed by the Shiromani Akali Dal and Congress, the District Election Officer of Tarn Taran had issued a show-cause notice to Bibi Paramjit Kaur Khalra on April 20 for terming Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji as her election manifesto. She was asked to submit a clarification within 48 hours.

Bibi Khalra Lodges Strong Reply to Election Officer’s Notice

540.The Man in Blue – See God in All

If you do not see God in all – You won’t see God at all

The above statement in italics is not a quote from the Guru Granth Sahib, but it is in tune with the Guru’s teachings. The problem we face is that most Sikhs come from South Asia where equality is not well understood.

Apart from the categories that you find in the equality laws there are other reasons to discriminate ‘the other’, like for instance because he/she is younger or from the wrong jaati (groups like Jats, Ramgarhias, Chamar etc), from the wrong state or the wrong part of your state.

Many South Asians have problems seeing God in females, in people with dark skins, in people with disabilities, or in people whose children have disabilities. Caste, as in the four castes of Manuvád is not often discussed amongst Sikhs, but there is lots of mention of Jats, Ramgarhias, Chamár etc (see above).

Jats are not a caste, but as farmers they are seen to be above Rámgarhias, who themselves are seen as being above Chamárs, who are leatherworkers or cobblers, those that work with the skins of dead animals.

The real test comes when you ask religious people to see God in people with different sexual preferences. Almost all religions are obsessed with sex. They might accept wife beaters, swindlers or alcoholics, but will tell you that you cannot be a Christian, a Jew, a Muslim, a Hindu or a Sikh if you are a homosexual.

Homosexuals could be in a truly loving relationship, approaching Guru’s ideal of having two bodies and one soul. They could be always honest, think about God with all they do, do honest work and share with others, but it is to no avail.

Homosexuals have been a persecuted minority who were marginalised from society. They could not have steady relationships, often had casual sex in urinals and other unsavoury locations, with ever changing partners.

Now secular society has discovered that as long as homosexual relationships are between consenting partners, these partners should have the same rights as heterosexuals.

This takes homosexuals out of the funny clubs, the urinals etc. This opens the door to having steady loving relationships, to working towards Guru’s ideal of marriage, having two bodies and one soul.

The Guru considers procreation a perfectly natural and God given process, but does not order us to ‘go forth and multiply’, as the Bible does.

A loving relationship with God should be our highest priority, all other loves are impermanent, all other loves end with death. But that does not mean that true unconditional love for another human being is bad. Such love should be based on the similar principles as love between the soul and the All-Soul.

404.The Man in Blue – Sikhi and Equality

To me Sikhí is not really a religion with dogmas, but a dharm, a ‘righteous’ way of life, where you do not just stop doing the deeds that are useless or harmful, but change to doing positively good things.

If there is a Sikh ‘dogma’ then it is ‘One God’ & ‘One Humanity’. This ‘dogma’ takes us right back to ‘righteous living’. Seeing all mankind as the children of the One Mata/Pita is the basis of true Sikh behaviour.

That is why our Guru’s always spoke to all people of all backgrounds, stood up for the rights of all, felt comfortable at the court of Patna and in the hut of Lalo, and saw only the ‘high’ and ‘low’ of being near or far from God.

Understanding equality and acting on it is not easy. Mankind seems to be expert at ‘them’ and ‘us’, where ‘them’ are bad, or at least not as good as ‘us’. We love retreating into our own little box and look outside with fear or contempt to those from other boxes.

I come from the Netherlands, a country with less class and gender discrimination than the UK, a country less obsessed with sex and therefore more open to those with different sexual preferences. Amsterdam has a substantial number of refugees from homophobic Britain.

On this scale of things the UK is less equal than the Netherlands and Panjab less equal than the UK. The Netherlands has become at least as intolerant towards other cultures as the UK is, but still less so than the Panjab.

Recognising that truly seeing God’s presence in all is difficult for all of us, regardless of our background, it is more of a challenge for people from the subcontinent than for most Europeans.

Equality is the Guru’s value, it is the Buddha’s value, it is the value of Jesus and Mohammad, but the ancient values of Brahminical Hinduism are still dominant in the subcontinent. Being equal does not mean that we are all the same. We look different, have different genders, different abilities, cultures, philosophies and faiths.

Sikhs should truly treat their sisters, wives and mothers as equals, Sikhs should not have caste based Gurdwaré or caste based marriages, Sikhs should not think in terms of ‘the Muslims’, ‘the Hindus’ or ‘the Christians’. Sikhs should judge, if judge they must, on the acts of individuals. Equality means saying with Guru Nanak : be a good Muslim, a good Hindu, a good Christian and a good Sikh !

Let’s pray to God and ask Her to liberate us from prejudices and preconceived ideas of our cultures. Let’s all adopt Guru’s values !

Published in: on January 25, 2010 at 7:36 am  Leave a Comment  
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391.Is my Sister equal to me ?

My answer to this question, whether I look at it from my Dutch or my Sikh perspective, is a resounding YES ! From a sub-continental point of view the question is more challenging. The two main religions or dharms on the sub-continent have a rich tradition of treating women as second class, as creatures to be ruled by men.

Sikhí is firmly based on the unity of mankind, but I have seen inequality being practised by Sikhs in Panjab and to a lesser degree here in the UK. I also find that English society is less equal in many respects than what I am used to in the Netherlands. This does not mean that they get everything right in my country of origin !

Guru’s teachings are wonderful. It is obvious from Gurbaní that Guru sees all creation, all creatures as coming from God, and that therefore we should respect all creation. Judging by Gurbaní Sikhs are way ahead of Panjabi, western, Hindu or Ibrahimic ‘teachings’.

The other day I went to two interfaith meetings. At the first meeting I met a female Anglican priest, who was treated by her two male colleagues as an absolute equal. That same day in another meeting I met a female vicar of the United Reformed Church. Both ladies were better educated than the majority of our granthis and were very comfortable in the company of people of other faiths.

A few years ago I attended a meeting regarding the Muslim school in Slough. The committee that was to decide on the school could not come to a decision and the case for a Muslim school was brought before an adjudicator.

The hall was full, partly with the Muslim variety of our greybeards, but there was a good presence of young Muslim women, many of them in hijáb. The men did what South Asian men are good at, they disagreed and launched personal attacks on each other.

The young Muslim women spoke good English, and formulated their contributions well. If it had not been for them the case of the Slough Islamic School might have been lost.

I am not saying that all Muslims and Christians are right and all Sikhs are wrong. In Sikhí we are on firm ground when we speak out for ‘One God, One Humanity’. But I am disappointed when I see that we are overtaken by Christians, Jews and Muslims when it comes to practising equality.

Please let us concentrate on getting our own house in order and let us practice equality between men and women, between all !

Published in: on October 26, 2009 at 6:48 am  Leave a Comment  
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