Understanding Sikh History-1

Raju

Re: India-EU News & Analysis

Postby Raju » 26 May 2009 14:09

these are the two ravidassia sants who were attacked in Vienna, on the left is Niranjan Das who is out-of-danger and the one on the right is Sant Ramanand who was killed.

Image

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Re: Internal Security Watch

Postby Tanaji » 26 May 2009 14:29

How are the two Deras related, or is there no relation?

Just putting down the relations here:

Sant Rama Nand : DSK or DSA (its either Dera Sacha Khand Ballan or Dera Sacha Akhand, news reports have both, I will say DSK). Dead. Also, the head of DSK, revered almost as a "Guru" by DSK
Sant Niranjan Das : DSK, injured and stable

Jalandhar is a stronghold of DSK, hence more riots there

Austria has about 2800 Sikhs as per 2001 census, "some" attackers were Austrian residents. Some reports say they were "Jat Sikhs". Supposedly there are two "temples" there, the second one being a newer one that opened in 2005. This temple is a DSK one which are collectively called Guru Ravidass Sabhas. The older temple doesnt like the newer one as per some reports. DSK is opening a lot of Guru Ravidass Sabhas in Western hemisphere.

DSK is supposedly made of "lower caste" sikhs, how that is possible I fail to understand since Sikhism doesnt have castes

Since ramana had alluded to this being a Khalistani/TSP hit:
http://www.punjabnewsline.com/content/view/16830/38/

I have not found a reference to DSS anywhere in this fracas.

Going out on a limb, my conjecture:

DSK is muscling in on traditional Sikh territory in Western Hemisphere. Sikhs in Europe and NA contribute a lot to Sikh religious and voluntary organisations. At least some of the funds are also from pro-Khalistani elements to related activities. DSK is probably claiming to be more tuned to the lower most strata of the society and has the cachet of being in touch with the actual people in need as compared to the other Sikh organisations. A lot of Sikhs in Europe and NA have families or relatives or neighbours from the same background that DSK claims it represents. Possibly DSK is starting to get more funding from the Europe/NA Sikh communities. This has started to worry the other Sikh community, especially the Khalistani types. Although DSK may be small now, the Khalistani types may have decided to nip this in the bud right now rather than deal with it later. The TSP rats are as usual, trying to get maximum mileage out of this. The BBC and other types are trying to give their usual spin of upper and low caste as usual.

This might end up being a dispute about influence and money in the end.

---------------------
Allakh Niranjan!

Raju

Re: Internal Security Watch

Postby Raju » 26 May 2009 15:01

>> We have to get our Deras right. Current farcas is due to Dera Sacha Akhand and not Dera Sacha Sauda.

It is not 'Sacha Akhand' or 'Sacha khand' instead it is

Sach Khand (Abode of truth)

the attack in Vienna was also not against a Ravidas Gurudwara instead a Ravidas Bhawan was what was attacked. My guess it is more like an unofficial Ravidas prayerhouse.

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Re: Internal Security Watch

Postby Tanaji » 26 May 2009 15:16

Raju wrote:
It is not 'Sacha Akhand' or 'Sacha khand' instead it is

Sach Khand (Abode of truth)

the attack in Vienna was also not against a Ravidas Gurudwara instead a Ravidas Bhawan was what was attacked. My guess it is more like an unofficial Ravidas prayerhouse.


Its actually Dera Sach Khand Ballan. Also reports say it was a Guru Ravi dass Sabha... its located at Vienna-Rudolfsheim, in the 15th district of the capital. The place is run by Guru Ravidass followers.

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Re: India-EU News & Analysis

Postby Tanaji » 26 May 2009 15:41

Tilak

DSS wasnt involved in this as far as I can see. Its DSK.

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Re: Internal Security Watch

Postby AjayKK » 26 May 2009 15:56

Maybe we need more info from SBajwa and more members on the attackers and their backgrounds....

Sites of Dera Sach Khand Ballan

http://www.sachkhandballan.net
http://www.sachkhandballan.org

Excerpts. Read in full.

Controversial 'deras' add fuel to Punjab fire

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Indi ... 579610.cms

The spotlight has swivelled to the deras once again with large parts of Punjab being held to ransom by followers of the Dera Sachkhand protesting the attack on two of their leaders in Vienna.

The attack itself was the result of a simmering undercurrent between the dominant Jat Sikh community of Punjab and the largely Dalit Sikh followers of the sect. Much of the following that the sects are attracting is because people from lower casts and lower stratas of Punjab society are trying to seek a distinct identity for themselves.


A brief profile of the controversial sects:

Dera Sachkhand:


Set up over 70 years ago in Ballan village near Jalandhar, 150 km from here, by Sant Pipal Singh, this sect largely has followers from lower castes of Sikhs. The sect follows the ideals of Guru Ravidass, a 14th century preacher.

The sect leaders have been placing the Sikh holy book, Guru Granth Sahib, in their gurdwaras and religious ceremonies, much to the annoyance of the Sikh clergy and community. The Sikhs object to their holy book being placed equally with leaders of this sect.

Many villages and towns in Punjab have two gurdwaras - one for the upper caste Sikhs and another for those from lower castes. The sect has its following entirely from the lower caste Dalit Sikhs.



Dera Sacha Sauda:

Headquartered in a sprawling campus on the outskirts of Sirsa town in adjoining Haryana, 300 km from Chandigarh, Dera Sacha Sauda has been the most controversial amongst all sects in recent years.


Divya Jyoti Jagran Sansthan (DJJS):

Led by godman Ashutosh Maharaj, it is based at Nurmahal town near Jalandhar. It was founded in 1983 and now has followers not just in India but also amongst NRIs in the US, Canada and Germany. The sect ideology is based on 'brahm gyan' (divine knowledge). It has also undertaken several social projects, including one for inmates of Asia's largest prison - the Tihar jail in New Delhi.



Baba Bhaniarewala sect:

It is headed by a self proclaimed 'baba', Piara Singh Bhaniarewala, and based in village Dhamiana in Punjab's Ropar district. His followers are also mostly from the Dalit Sikh community. He has been involved in various controversies with the Sikh community as he compares himself to the Sikh gurus.

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Re: Internal Security Watch

Postby Tanaji » 26 May 2009 16:02

Add to that the Nirankaris .. how do they figure with all the sects?

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Re: India-EU News & Analysis

Postby IndraD » 26 May 2009 18:00

http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.co ... e-of-caste
Apparently, the rioting in Punjab is the result of long-simmering tension between Jat Sikhs on the one hand and Dalit Sikhs on the other. The followers of Dera Sachkhand Ballan are mostly Dalits, and saw Rama Nand's murder as one more example of upper-caste oppression.

Wait a minute. Caste conflict in Sikhism? Nanak was a lifelong opponent of the caste system. It was one of the reasons for his breaking away from Hinduism. He began the institution of the langar, a free kitchen attached to every gurdwara, where anyone can come in and eat regardless of caste, community, or economic status. Sadly, in modern-day Punjab, one can now see separate gurdwaras for specific castes in the same village. There couldn't be a crueller travesty of Nanak's teachings than this.


I do not agree with this part below

Thankfully, there is one tiny sliver of hope. The results of the Lok Sabha elections seem to indicate that at least the Hindi heartland seems to be finally tiring of casteist rhetoric, and wants to talk about good governance instead

There were too many parties claiming to be champions of low caste and votes got divided.

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Re: Internal Security Watch

Postby Tanaji » 26 May 2009 18:33

Some more datapoints on the background of Ravidasis or the DSK

http://news.rediff.com/report/2009/may/ ... urning.htm

On a tangential note, from the link by AjayKK

http://www.sachkhandballan.org/user/eng ... assji.aspx

It is interesting that the past head of DSKB was not necessarily a Sikh in the traditional sense of kesh: he did not sport a beard, hair etc.


As I said, it is more likely this is about influence, money, funding and power rather than "upper caste" vs "lower caste"...

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Re: India-EU News & Analysis

Postby Tanaji » 26 May 2009 18:43

We seem to have 2 threads where discussion is on this topic.... the other one is the Internal Security Thread, which is IMHO more suitable...

Raju

Re: India-EU News & Analysis

Postby Raju » 27 May 2009 00:47

Austrian politicians angry over ´problem gurus´ after Sikh temple shooting

http://www.austriantimes.at/index.php?id=13470

By Thomas Hochwarter

The reaction of Austria’s right-wing parties to the shooting at a Sikh temple in Vienna has caused fury from Social Democrats.

Ewald Stadler, European Parliament (EP) election front-runner for the Alliance for the Future of Austria (BZÖ) said today (Mon) "problem gurus and hate preachers" should not be allowed into the country.

Former Freedom Party (FPÖ) member Stadler said: "We cannot become the marching field for all the insane."

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Re: Internal Security Watch

Postby Tilak » 27 May 2009 05:51

Tilak wrote:X-Posted : India-EU thread

This particular incident in Austria happened, according to Sikh Spokesman on Radio was ~ "One of the Dera Sacha Sauda(DSS) visited the Gurudwara, which enraged the people, and was trying to "proselytize". And this Gurudwara doen't recognize the DSS, and consider them distorting the Sikh religion. Although "the Saint" the DSS reveres, is recognized by mainstream Sikhs and his place rightfully accorded by the way of including 100 verses/poems in the original Guru Granth, he is not recognized as as one of the original 10 Sikh Gurus. And DSS is actively pushing/playing up for his importance.".

--Any mistakes while quoting the above are mine.. Will be glad to correct myself.--



ramana wrote:We have to get our Deras right. Current farcas is due to Dera Sacha Akhand and not Dera Sacha Sauda.

Dera Sach Akhand, a Jalandhar-based sect that follows the teachings of guru Ravidass (the 14th century founder of the Ravidassia sect)


I think its a TSP sponsored outrage as the attack was by pro-Khalistanis.



Thanks Ramana garu.. My bad it is Dera SachKhand(DSK) and not DSS, as I mentioned.. I walked in when the radio was on, and caught up midway..

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Re: Internal Security Watch

Postby Tilak » 27 May 2009 05:59

Babbar Khalsa chief's mail to be probed
27 May 2009, 0124 hrs IST, Yudhvir Rana, TNN

AMRITSAR: What made Wadhawa Singh Babbar, a Sikh hardliner and chief of terrorist outfit Babbar Khalsa International, to issue a peace appeal?
Wadhawa is one of the 20 fugitives demanded by India from Pakistan.

One of India’s most-wanted terrorist, Wadhawa, in an e-mail sent to reporters on Tuesday had claimed that the Sikh panth had no role in the attack on Dera Sachkhand’s religious heads in Vienna and blamed Indian agencies for it to create wedge between the Sikhs and Dera Sachkhand followers.

Wadhawa, believed to be in Pakistan, had never issued a similar appeal even during the clashes between various Sikh outfits and followers of Dera Sacha Sauda. SSP Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh said cops would probe the origin of mail before ascertaining its veracity.
...
.....

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Re: Internal Security Watch

Postby AjayKK » 27 May 2009 12:23

Please read the complete article.
It mentions both what Tanaji and Ramana have been saying. The article is from Time, so take it fwiw.

Austrian Murder Sparks Protests in India
By Madhur Singh / New Delhi Tuesday, May. 26, 2009

http://www.time.com/time/world/article/ ... 82,00.html



Caste rivalries and a fight over offerings at a cash-rich Sikh temple in Vienna echoed far and wide on Monday as sectarian violence once again erupted in India's Sikh-majority state of Punjab. At least two people have been killed and 14 injured since news reached Punjab yesterday via text messages and mobile phones that a Sikh preacher of a lower-caste sect, 57-year-old Sant Rama Nand, had been shot dead in a clash in a temple in Austria. Thousands of lower-caste Sikhs took to Punjab's streets armed with swords and batons, burning buses and blocking trains.



Over the years, the quaint little gurdwara on the Rudolfsheim Street on the outskirts of Vienna has become a hub of Sikh separatists who supported an insurgency in Punjab during the 1980s and 1990s. The insurgency was eventually stamped down by an iron-fisted state, and many of its supporters sought and received political asylum in Europe. As Austria's legal South Asian community has become more established, thousands of illegal Sikh migrants from all over Europe have gravitated there. "The gurdwara was lush with offerings from a nostalgic and large-hearted diaspora," says Ramesh Vinayak, who heads the Punjab edition of the national daily Hindustan Times, and who visited the Vienna gurdwara in 2005.



Around the same time, the Ravidasias, a lower-caste community who are not considered Sikhs though the groups share some similarities, including worship in gurdwaras, swelled in numbers among Austria's Indian diaspora. Disgruntled lower-caste youths from an increasingly prosperous Punjab — where the landed castes have been reaping the benefits of the Green Revolution since the 1950s and 1960s — were making their way to Europe in droves. "What we see now is a result of rising Dalit assertion," says Vinayak. "The lower castes set up their own gurdwara, splitting the congregation and the [revenue from the] offerings. The pro-Khalistanis (those supporting a separate Sikh nation) at the older gurdwara felt threatened." Those tensions came to a head this Sunday when management of the new gurdwara invited some preachers of Dera Sach Khand, a Ravidasia sect, to address the congregation. A violent clash ensued, in which Baba Rama Nand was shot and 15 people were injured. Baba Rama Nand later died in hospital


When news of the killing began to trickle into Punjab, state authorities went on alert. Although there is no specific history of Ravidasia-Sikh violence in Punjab, violence has taken place between followers of various sects across the state, mostly with support of lower castes among both the Sikhs and non-Sikhs.


Dalit Sikhs and Ravidasias, especially in the fertile Doaba belt which sends out a large number of immigrants, have seen immense prosperity lately, and with it, a rising Dalit consciousness and assertion," says Dr. Ronki Ram, reader in the Department of Political Science at Panjab University in Chandigarh, who has recently authored a paper on the topic. This assertion has found a voice in hundreds of little sects that have sprung up all over the state, :eek: enmeshing socio-economic struggle with religion in a lethal combination. It is ironic that Sikhism, the dominant religion of the state, was born in the 15th century with a promise of equality for all genders, classes and castes, since a growing inequality among its followers is causing so much unrest.

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Re: Internal Security Watch

Postby AjayKK » 27 May 2009 12:27

For some images of the attack and protests after the attacks, see here

http://forum.santabanta.com/showthread.htm?t=131062

Image

Do the followers of the Dera Sachkhand (Adharmis as per sikhs) classify as Sikhs in Census?

From the Joshua project ( could not find other :roll: )

Population : 1,193,000

Largest States

Punjab (1,134,000) Himachal Pradesh (11,000)

http://tinyurl.com/adharmis

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Re: Internal Security Watch

Postby AjayKK » 27 May 2009 13:11

KZF claims responsibility for Vienna attack; Babbar Khalsa condemns killing

http://www.hindu.com/2009/05/27/stories ... 101300.htm

CHANDIGARH: Even as the Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF) claimed responsibility for the Vienna incident that sparked violence in Punjab, the Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) has condemned the killing of Sant Rama Nand of the Dera Sach Khand.

According to information posted on its website, the London-based Akash Radio said the KZF has claimed responsibility for the Sunday’s attack in Vienna.

Claiming that it had received an e-mail, it said the message, written on the KZF’s letterhead, was signed by one Ranjit Singh.

The KZF is said to have claimed that the incident occurred because “these people did not heed to the warnings that they should not disrespect Guru Granth Sahibji by sitting parallel to Sri Guru Granth Sahibji; letting people bow before them in the Guru Sahib’s presence and committing various unacceptable anti-maryada (Sikh code of conduct) acts. As they continued to commit such sins, the KZF was forced to take this action.”

Raju

Re: Internal Security Watch

Postby Raju » 27 May 2009 16:16

This message is sent from Shri Guru Ravidass Sabha Ontario, Canada.

Our brothers and sisters living in India, what terrorists have done in Vienna have torn apart our hearts. They have extinguished a voice of peace, love and knowledge. Our revered Guru Sant Rama Nand Ji was most exemplary personality who had set our community on path of progress and advancement after Guru Ravidass Ji.

Your aggression at this point is understandable. We, as your brothers and sisters, in Canada can understand your reaction to 3000 years of oppression and high handedness of higher castes in Punjab, especially by so-called high caste Sikhs even though gurus preached against casteism.

Guru Sant Rama Nand Ji and Guru Sant Niranjan Dass Ji always preached against violence. We feel your pain from heart. However, protests should be done in a peaceful manner. Show your force in a peaceful manner. Guru Sant Rama Nand Ji was religious head of Ravidassia community worldwide (second in command) and what terrorists have done is attacked our community, our religious freedom and our religious institutions. After Guru Ravidass Ji, the gurus of Sachkhand Dera Ballan have carried the torch of truth, peace and equality. We have also learnt from news that terrorists were Sikhs. We know very well that Maharaj ji is equally revered in all communities in India and they are equally pained at this act by cowards but we should also understand that TERRORISTS HAVE NO RELIGION. They are only guided by their twisted logic. They have committed this act to create social unrest.

The reports that Maharaj Ji disrespected Guru Granth Sahib are false and utter nonsense. In fact, they made countless human beings to follow the path set in Guru Granth Sahib. We, as Ravidassias have different traditions. We are not Sikhs. Even though, we give utmost respect to 10 gurus and Guru Granth Sahib, Guru Ravidass Ji is our supreme. There is no command for us to follow the declaration that there is no guru after Guru Granth Sahib. We respect Guru Granth Sahib because it has our guru ji's teachings and teachings of other religious figures who have spoken against caste system, spread the message of NAAM and equality. As per our traditions, we give utmost respect to contemporary gurus also who are carrying forward the message of Guru Ravidass Ji. Guru Granth Sahib is a universal Granth. It has message for humanity. Holy Books are for the mankind to follow and not for specific religious groups. Everybody can respect and follow them in their own manner.


Protest in large numbers and make your presence felt to authorities and the world that we can not be walked over anymore but please do it in the peaceful manner. Please maintain peace and calm. This will be true tribute to Maharaj ji. Let's follow his path of progress, self awareness and peace and make sure nobody repeats such an act against our religious leaders.


Shri Guru Ravidass Sabha Ontario,
6795 Steeles Ave. West, Toronto,
Ontario, Canada


http://www.punjabnewsline.com/content/view/16852/38/

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Re: Internal Security Watch

Postby satya » 27 May 2009 16:49

The flare up happened in Vienna Gurudwara when certain Sikhs objected to presence of another ''Guru'' in Gurudwara ie these two Gurus of Ravidaas sect and said if they are to be there then they be allowed to take the Guru Granth Sahib from that place since Sikhs believe Guru Granth Sahib as only true & living Guru once the lineage of Gurus stopped and not any of these Gurus from Deras . The followers of this sect said no and flare up happened.

Majority of Punjabis in Europe are SCs/STs types and follow all sorts of these Gurus so are kinda on the periphery of Sikhism, they talk punjabi and speak of their Ravidas Bhawan as Gurudwara but they don't adhere to tents of Sikhism .These very followers are also the ones who keep close company with TSPians , living ,eating & working together usually passing themselves off as Jatt Sikhs and are normally very jealous of Hindus & upper caste Sikhs ie Jatt Sikhs and don't get well together so next time when u hear some crazy story about Hindus , pls be assured of our these SCs from Punjab doing their part well . Even in Netherlands though not many( , they have two Gurudwaras infact 3 in Den Hague owing to these problems ( SCs don't go to ''bada Gurudwara'' for they feel inferiority complex . Good thing is they just don't have it in them to go against India via terrorism mode , they are cowards deep inside & are thankful for European passport they get & most do menial labor jobs and marrying girls half their age back in Punjab and sending money via Hawala ( one more connection common btw TSPians and NRPs) but yes majority of them ie their families back home in border districts act as couriers for TSPians in Punjab for both fake currency & opium being brought to India .
There is a big divide in Punjab for there were never any land reforms implemented ensuring the Jatt Sikhs still holding hundreds of acres of land legally so only venue for these SCs was to move out and for some reason they happened to land up in mainland europe and are at forefront in conversion drive in Italy where they become Catholics to get PR in Italy .

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Re: Internal Security Watch

Postby Atri » 27 May 2009 17:33

Just my thoughts..

I feel that DSS and DSK movements reflect the further Indianization of Sikh Panth..

Let me elaborate.

While the first 10 gurus were incumbent, the Sikh tradition was following the classical Bhaaratiya Guru-Shishya Parampara.. With Guru Granth Sahib becoming the final and ultimate Guru and scope for no new Guru or reformation, the abrahamic character had set in the Sikh panth which is against its basic tendency, which is Bhaaratiya and Dharmic.

The monotheism preached in Sikh Panth is not very uncommon in Indic traditions.. However this rigidity of no new guru is against the basic core of Indic value system.

The importance of a true "Sadguru" is emphasized on in almost all of the Indic traditions and no book can substitute a "Sadguru" completely. I feel that Guru Gobind Singhji should have continued this Guru tradition.. The popularity of DSS and DSK among poor people particularly belonging to lower social strata denotes the fact that the Indic character cannot be suppressed for long.. No matter what, it manages to resurface..

This gives me optimism that Indic civilization will be resurgent again and this time the major thrust will come from the OBC category of society.. Brahmins have lost their importance as in democracy numbers count. And they have been comparatively marginalized in politics and administration. The new generation of Brahmin kids are increasingly looking towards settling in some western country. Kshatriya castes are enjoying power and have started caring a damn about society. Such resurgence of Indic traditions, which is seen in DSS and DSK must be encouraged.

After Shuddhi movement by Dayanand Saraswati of Arya Samaj, Sikh community started growing alarmingly exclusivist. They declared that they are not Hindus. British gave Sikh, Buddhism, Jain etc a status of separate religion which further fuelled this exclusivity coupled with the martial race theory.

The final nail in the coffin was operation blue-star and massacre of Sikhs by INC members in 1984. This led to their further alienation from mainstream Indic paths.. DSS and DSK are the formal responses to come back into mainstream of Indic civilization.. There are thousands of Sikhs (the true-upper caste Khalsa Sikhs) who visit Vaishnodevi and other so called "Hindu" places of worship and thousands of so called "Hindus" visit Gurudwaras to pay homage to their beloved Gurus. DSS people preach the tenets of Gurus, worship, worship Idols of gods and have revived the Guru Shishya tradition and popularized it among the Sikhs (at least a fraction of them)

If britain were ruling India today, then they would have came up with a proposal of conferring the status of new religion to DSS and DSK, further dividing the society..

I guess, the problem is with the Prabandhak committee which has organized itself like Church of Rome and trying to make decisions for Sikhs in every aspect of life.

Raju

Re: Internal Security Watch

Postby Raju » 27 May 2009 17:48

satya wrote:The flare up happened in Vienna Gurudwara when certain Sikhs objected to presence of another ''Guru'' in Gurudwara ie these two Gurus of Ravidaas sect.


err .. Ravidasia don't consider themselves sikh.

From hearsay, this issue arose when this Ravidasia leader named Sant Ramanand had a quarrel with an actual Sikh who attended his congregation and asked him not to disrespect the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (the holy book) by keeping it on the floor and allowing others to bow to him in its presence. the said Sikh gentleman considered it as an insult to his guru. Upon his raising the matter with Guru Ramanand, he rejected the Sikh's allegation of bedabi to SGGS and asked his followers to retaliate who beat up this person, and this Sikh man is lying in hospital in critical condition or he is dead now. Upon hearing this the group of assailants came in at Ramanand's next gathering and shot him and Niranjan Das.

this is also the reason I feel why media first announced this incident as a 'family dispute'.

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Re: Internal Security Watch

Postby munna » 27 May 2009 19:12

Raju wrote:
satya wrote:The flare up happened in Vienna Gurudwara when certain Sikhs objected to presence of another ''Guru'' in Gurudwara ie these two Gurus of Ravidaas sect.


err .. Ravidasia don't consider themselves sikh.


Sorry guys people are badly mistaken here. Please separate Sikhism and Khalsa, Guru Gobind Singh ji established Khalsa which has in due course become the true successor sect of the original Sikhism established by Guru Nanak Dev ji (notice no Singh in the names of first nine Gurus and also in the names of the parents of Guru Gobind Singhji). The Khalsa sect codified its religion with the Gurudwara Reforms Act and accorded the Jatt peasantry prime role in its scheme of things. Ravidasis are not Khalsas or Sikhs as some people mistake Khalsa as, they follow the Sikh Gurus and their own Guru Ravi Das ji, the fact of the matter is unlike rest of the states in India Jatts are the upper castes of Punjab and Brahmins are most reviled and de facto lower caste in social scheme of things. The lower caste based deras are a challenge to the monopoly of Jatt Sikhs on Gurudwaras, Bani and Sikh Gurus. The deras are a big threat to that monopoly (includes the GOLAK or the offerings to the gurudwaras too). THE KZF is trying to fish in muddled waters where we have an utterly incompetent son ruling the state and watching it go up in flames, my family received food after a gap of 3 days yesterday. The communal harmony is good in cities but rural areas are seething.

Raju

Re: Internal Security Watch

Postby Raju » 27 May 2009 19:18

munna, it is written in that letter by Ravidasis of Ontario that they do not consider themselves as Sikhs.

This message is sent from Shri Guru Ravidass Sabha Ontario, Canada.

We, as Ravidassias have different traditions. We are not Sikhs. Even though, we give utmost respect to 10 gurus and Guru Granth Sahib, Guru Ravidass Ji is our supreme. There is no command for us to follow the declaration that there is no guru after Guru Granth Sahib.

Shri Guru Ravidass Sabha Ontario,
6795 Steeles Ave. West, Toronto,
Ontario, Canada

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Re: Internal Security Watch

Postby munna » 27 May 2009 19:30

Raju^^Sorry for not making myself clear. Sikhism has now by default come to mean Khalsa that is the sect of 5 Ks and believing in Guru Granth Sahib to be the last Guru. The Ravidasis do not necessarily adhere to any of these and hence are not Khalsa. But they DO believe in the Sikh Gurus apart from Guru Ravi Dasji and thus fall under the wider definition of Sikhism that is to be the Sikh (apbhransha for Shishya or disciple of Gurus) of Gurus. They are not Khalsa by any stretch of imagination and that is the reason for tensions. The orthodox Khalistani brigade believes in Paki like purity of religion and will not allow anybody to exist even at their periphery like the Ravi Dasis, Premis, Jatt Bahmans, Nirakaris, Sehajdharis etc. Entire Punjabi population can be classified as some hue of Sikhi if not for the orthodox Jatt clergy that insists of purity and supermacy of Khalsa. Not very inclusive but things are changing.

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Re: Internal Security Watch

Postby Sumeet » 27 May 2009 19:41

Caste cutting: Clash of identities dividing Sikhs

Punjab remained on edge on Tuesday after protests by backward caste and Dalit members of the Dera Sach Akhand erupted across the state following an attack on the members of the sect in Vienna, Austria.

Niranjan Dass, leader of the Dera - a sect within Sikhism that comprise of backward castes and Dalits - who was reportedly attacked by upper caste Sikhs is now stated to be out of danger.

In an all-party meeting in Punjab, leaders condemned the attack on the Dera. But in a state with 29 per cent Dalits, reports say that Jatt Sikhs are still deeply prejudiced about lower castes.

This was manifested as recently as last year when violent clashes broke out between Sikhs and the followers of Dera Saccha Sauda, a sect headed by the controversial Baba Ram Rahim.

CNN-IBN debated on the causes of this widening rift between the mainstream Sikhism and the deras on Face the Nation. The panel comprised Professor of Sociology at Punjab University, Sherry Sabharwal; senior lawyer, Harvinder Singh Phoolka and Professor of Sociology, JNU, S S Jodhka.

Research shows that there has been a constant clash of faith between the institutionalised version of Sikhism and the various sects in Sikhism. Many feel that the Jatt Sikhs seem to monopolise the Gurudwara.

However, Phoolka – an upper-caste Sikh himself – vociferously denied there was a caste-based division among Sikhs. Though he agreed that class divide could be one of the reasons as economically-backward Sikhs weren't really "looked after" by the richer members of the community.


"There are some problems in the villages but that's mostly a class difference between farmer and labour communities. These deras are surfacing because Sikhs haven't been able to take care of the poor among them," he said.

CASTE IN THE SAME MOULD?

Jodhka, however, was more accepting of the problem. He said Punjab has had a history of caste-based differences and that was perhaps being manifested in the ferocious anger erupting now. "Caste is a part of life, that's evolved with it. Demographically, Punjab has changed a lot. It's a Sikh majority state where SCs are given quotas too. Now, after the Green revolution, Dalits in Doaba region have moved from agrarian economies and are now prosperous. And these sects have evolved," he explained.

But then where lies the fault? Not with the institutionalised Sikhism for not being able to reach out to these groups? Jodhka said it was more to do with politicisation of various institutions. He also conceded that the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee – the premier Sikh body - has been taken over by dominant sections within the community namely Jatt Sikhs and Khatirs.

Importantly, the violence in Vienna has a nugget of history attached to it. A number of Sikh militants, Jodhka said, fled Punjab to seek refuge in Vienna. "There is no tension between Ravidasis and mainstream Sikhs. Ravidasis are confined to themselves. But here the diaspora is involved," he said, indicating that the feeling is more virulent among the diaspora.

Sherry Sabharwal said sectarianism was not a Sikh-specific issue but she admitted that casteism was a problem. "Also, the emergence of deras is not fragmentation of faith. It's more of plurality," she said.

But Phoolka insisted that it was not a caste-based problem, it was more a problem of non-inclusion. "Dalits who own land in villages are treated at par with the rich Sikhs. They go to the deras because of the facilities that they provide which mainstream Sikhs don't. Sikhs haven't looked after their poor," he said.

SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST?

Jodhka pointed out that most deras in the state were dominated by the upper castes. "Ravidas dera is owned by Jatt Sikhs. There's no hostility between deras and Sikhs. Only a small incident happened with Dera Saccha Sauda . Otherwise there's been no clash," he said.

Phoolka said the problem is when the Dera chiefs start calling themselves gurus. "In 1978, Nirankari chief was called Guru Nanak Dev in a procession that was taken out in Punjab. That's what the Sikhs couldn't tolerate," he said.

But do the outward manifestations of identity – both the Sikhs and dera followers don turban and beard – lead to insecurity among the upper castes? Jodhka said most Ravidasis weren't Sikhs but listed as SC Hindus with the Government. Hence, he said the Vienna incident was not about identity clash or caste divide. He said it was done simply to induce disharmony between two sects.

Phoolka agreed that Sikhs were very sensitive about their identity especially if someone would want to project themselves as a guru. He said the deras were doing very well in Punjab and had a great "management plan to attract more people" as opposed to SGPC that was more interested in amassing property.

Sherry Sabharwal agreed that the root cause of the problem was that gurudwaras were losing out on supporters. "This is an emotional issue. If the Sikh tenets are being diluted in any way, the problem is how to do resolve it – why violence and not dialogue," he said.


All panelists agreed that the issues of sensitivity were very much a part of Sikh-dera existence but dialogue not violence was the only way to resolve it.

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Re: Internal Security Watch

Postby Tanaji » 27 May 2009 20:16

From the above link:


Jodhka pointed out that most deras in the state were dominated by the upper castes. "Ravidas dera is owned by Jatt Sikhs. There's no hostility between deras and Sikhs. Only a small incident happened with Dera Saccha Sauda . Otherwise there's been no clash," he said.


Either the author is mis reporting or there is something else going on. DSS wasn't involved here, only DSK...

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Re: Internal Security Watch

Postby munna » 27 May 2009 20:22

^^Jodhka is an insufferable JNU professor who lives in his own la la land. In the mentioned sentence he is trying to suggest that Deras have historically had no run ins with Sikh clergy apart from the DSS incident which is clearly wrong (somebody tell him about Nirankaris). The present incident involving Dera Sach Khand Ballan is different both in terms of geographical refrence and the following concerned.

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Re: Internal Security Watch

Postby Sumeet » 27 May 2009 20:45

Tanaji he was talking in general of dera [here dera includes all different types of deras] and sikh historical relation and in that context raised the problem between Sikhs and DSS [last year] as a minor incident of clash. Otherwise according to him there is no hostility between any deras and Sikhs. Munna phoolka mentioned Nirankaris.

It seems like some sikhs have made up their minds that after 10 gurus GGS is the only guru, anyone else who projects himself as Guru or to be like one will face ire of Sikhs.

Anyways this is a report of a video conversation between Sagarika Ghose and these folks. Please check the videos available with this link for more details.

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Re: Understanding Sikh History-1

Postby Vipul » 27 May 2009 22:08

Real story behind recent Sikh clashes?

THE ATTACK on Dera Sachkhand Ballan chief Sant Niranjan Dass and his deputy Sant Rama Nand in Vienna was the outcome of simmering differences between Guru Ravidass followers and Sikh radicals over the implementation of Sikh rehat maryada (religious code of conduct) at Ravidass gurdwaras across the world. Radicals have not taken kindly to the opening of Ravidass gurdwaras worldwide, initiated by Sant Niranjan a decade ago.

It was viewed as a potential threat to their supremacy in religious affairs and decline in income of gurdwaras. Hardliners have also been objecting to Ravidass followers' practice of touching Sant Niranjan's feet in Ravidass gurdwaras in the presence of the Guru Granth Sahib, a living guru for the Sikhs.

The Sikh rehat maryada states that the Granth Sahib is supreme and none can be given prominence in its presence. As Guru Ravidass' teachings are part of Granth Sahib, his followers keep the Sikh holy book in their gurdwaras.

However, Dera followers have been observing their own maryada, with devotees first paying obeisance to Guru Granth Sahib and then touching Sant Niranjan's feet as a mark of respect. "About four years ago, Sikh radicals had issued a letter of warning to Sant Niranjan, instructing him to adhere to the rehat maryada or face the consequences, " a close associate of Sant Niranjan said.

"But no one had imagined a tragedy like the one which occurred in Vienna, where Sant Rama Nand was shot." Dera Sachkhand Ballan is the main religious centre for crores of Ravidass followers across the world.

The Ravidass gurdwara in Vienna was set up in 1999 following differences with Sikh leaders. Ravidass followers had largely stopped visiting the Sikh gurdwara thereafter and used to hold their marriages, rituals and religious meetings at the Ravidass gurdwara.

"Earlier, Ravidass followers used to earn a livelihood by doing petty jobs for Sikhs in villages of Punjab. But now, we have earned social status and money to compete with them.

The attack was the outcome of sheer jealousy," said Mahi, an eyewitness to the Vienna shooting, in which his wife was injured.

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Re: Understanding Sikh History-1

Postby Atri » 31 May 2009 07:31

Girl who plucked eyebrow not true Sikh, says HC

Shocking... The real meaning of Dharma is being forgotten... It will be ultimate defeat for Guru Nanak and Guru Gobind singhji if their followers end up being so rigid and fanatical.. And I am more shocked that High Court agreed !!!! :eek: :eek: :evil:

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Re: Understanding Sikh History-1

Postby ramana » 31 May 2009 10:59

When did Sikhs become so rigid?

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Re: Understanding Sikh History-1

Postby shyam » 01 Jun 2009 12:47

I think you need to look at impact of past terrorism in Sikh mind.

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Re: Understanding Sikh History-1

Postby Keshav » 03 Jun 2009 05:17

shyam wrote:I think you need to look at impact of past terrorism in Sikh mind.


The connection between plucking and terrorism isn't really clear to me. What were you trying to say with this statement?

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Re: Understanding Sikh History-1

Postby shyam » 04 Jun 2009 11:32

During the age of terrorism a lot of hardliners had influenced Sikh religious organizations. What we are seeing now is remaining traces of that.

Raju

Re: Understanding Sikh History-1

Postby Raju » 04 Jun 2009 12:37

those hardliners still remain hardliners, nothing happened to them .. though quite a bit emigrated from India then.

to tell the truth, it is possibly these very folks whom we call the hardliners today, who were hardliners then and who took on the Mughals and eventually defeated them. So we have to give them that due.

the fence-sitting sikhs of today wouldn't have dislodged the mughals.

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Re: Understanding Sikh History-1

Postby Tanaji » 04 Jun 2009 13:14

Raju wrote:those hardliners still remain hardliners, nothing happened to them .. though quite a bit emigrated from India then.

to tell the truth, it is possibly these very folks whom we call the hardliners today, who were hardliners then and who took on the Mughals and eventually defeated them. So we have to give them that due.

the fence-sitting sikhs of today wouldn't have dislodged the mughals.



Interesting argument. Should we apply the same logic to the likes of Taliban, Bajrang Dal, Ram Sene etc. and give them their "dues"?

Raju

Re: Understanding Sikh History-1

Postby Raju » 04 Jun 2009 13:17

No, because in Sikh's case we are talking of their history from as near as 1850 when they defeated Mughals in Punjab and then lost power to the Brits. Hardly a generation away we reach 1980.

So a lot of traits of them successful warriors are carried over.

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Re: Understanding Sikh History-1

Postby Airavat » 05 Jun 2009 07:50

Raju wrote:to tell the truth, it is possibly these very folks whom we call the hardliners today, who were hardliners then and who took on the Mughals and eventually defeated them. So we have to give them that due. the fence-sitting sikhs of today wouldn't have dislodged the mughals.


Very simplistic view of history.

The "fence-sitting" Sikhs were accommodated into the Mughal power structure as jagirdars and Nawabs; they provided the base from which the misls were later formed and which eventually took on the Afghan invaders after the decline of Mughal power.

The "hardliners" i.e. followers of Banda Bahadur took on the Mughals but were isolated and defeated. Read up on the Bandai Khalsa.

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Re: Internal Security Watch

Postby Yayavar » 08 Jun 2009 07:52

Chiron wrote:Just my thoughts..

After Shuddhi movement by Dayanand Saraswati of Arya Samaj, Sikh community started growing alarmingly exclusivist. They declared that they are not Hindus. British gave Sikh, Buddhism, Jain etc a status of separate religion which further fuelled this exclusivity coupled with the martial race theory.


Chiron: Was the Arya samaj seen as a political force? I've read about Shuddhi as a conversion/reconversion of recently converted Muslims/Christians to Hinduism. Given that many prominent leaders, Bhagat Singh's family (if not himself), Lala lajapat rai and many others were part of Arya Samaj.

Why did this cause Sikh community to be exclusive? Was it, its emphasis on Vedic ritual which was seen to draw folks away from other Panths?

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Re: Understanding Sikh History-1

Postby Atish » 08 Jun 2009 11:04

The caste consciousness of Sikhs is beyond anything I have seen among my peers in India. No other community (Kammas, Banias, reddys, rajputs what have you) have girls sporting Proud Kamma/Rajput etc T shirts (I have seen Proud Jatti and putt Jattan de in the US). Then jibes against "chuda-chamars", "Bhappas" and "banias" are almost a fact of life among Jats regardless of how sensible the guy you think is. In other communities you see some ppl who are into this caste - community stuff, and most arent, but the Jat Sikh identity is something else.

Also this attitude I can only describe as Sikh/Punjabi/Jat arrogance is widely recognized and not appreciated by other people. Though the resentment is not of a serious nature, but it is widespread nonetheless.

The amount of caste consciousness among Sikhs and Christians in India is indicative of how badly their prophets failed in this regard, and makes me wonder if it will ever ever go away in a serious sense.

Atish.

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Re: Understanding Sikh History-1

Postby Keshav » 08 Jun 2009 11:30

Atish wrote:The amount of caste consciousness among Sikhs and Christians in India is indicative of how badly their prophets failed in this regard, and makes me wonder if it will ever ever go away in a serious sense.


You know that phrase about not casting stones in a glass house...?


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