11 February 2009

Birth Anniversary of Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindrawale - 2009

Tomorrow where I am and today in India is his birth anniversary. I think I can do no better than reproducing my post from last year with D. S Gill of IHRO's inspiring article. (Please enjoy the additional picture above.)

I saw this picture and find it both beautiful and compelling.

I hope you love it as I do.

As usual, I am at a loss as to what to write about one of our great martyrs. What is there to say about him that hasn't already been said? That [Indira Gandhi] thought to use him as her tame Sikh and discovered that there are no tame lions? (I heard that the other day, and it gave me a smile!)

In my research, I happened upon this tribute by D S Gill of the International Human Rights Organisation (IHRO) of which I am a member. It inspired me and I hope it inspires you!


A Tribute to saint-soldier

Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindrawale (1947-84)

On his birth day, February 12

Religion and politics are inseparable and synonymous in Sikhism. This
concept is a great contribution of Guru Hargobind Sahib to Sikhism. We are
considered anti-national. We wish to live in India, but are the Government
of India prepared to keep us in India? We want to live in India as
first-rate citizens, which, as at present, we are not. We would like to live
on par with other citizens, rather than slaves. As we made 90% sacrifices in
the freedom struggle of the country, we are not prepared to live like
slaves. Now it is for the Centre to state whether it wants to keep us as
slaves or as equal citizens. I am opposed neither to Khalistan nor in favour
of it. It is for the government to decide whether it wishes to keep us in
India or concede Khalistan. We will accept it; we will not repeat the 1947
blunder. My mission is to ensure that every one- Hindu, Sikh, Muslim remain
true to one's religion, and there is unity among all sections of people,
that the modesty of woman is not violated, that all social evils are
eradicated. For all this, I am dubbed as extremist. And, I do not mind being
known as extremist; rather I am proud to be such an extremist. This is what
Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindrawale had said at different times during Dharam
Yudh Morcha (1982-84) and it has been reported in the SGPC White Paper, 1996
(Truth About Punjab). But on June 3, 1984, when the Golden Temple was under
the siege of the Indian Army, Sant Bhindrawale did say unequivocally 'now we
can not live in India: 'We need a separate home.' Earlier too, he had
expressed and repeatedly said that the day the Indian Army attacked the
Golden Temple and Akal Takht, foundation of Khalistan would be laid, A R
Darshi says so in his renowned book, Bhindrawale the Gallant Defender

And now, to carry forward the mission of Sikh Guru- fully enshrined in Sri
Guru Granth Sahib, as envisaged from Akal Takht, the glorious history of the
Sikhs and its recent propagation by the Sant- we in International Human
Rights Organisation propose the formation of a united front (third front) to
all those opposed to the crafty politics of the so-called traditional
Akalis, now largely led by Badal. And all those groups and individuals who
distance themselves from the legacy of the Rajiv-Longowal Accord should
co-operate, co-ordinate and actively participate in the proposed Panthic

And they should have commitment towards the two historic documents- Amritsar
Declaration and Anandpur Sahib Resolution, with an endeavour for fulfilling
the spirit behind these documents and the Sikh litany Raj Karega Ga Khalsa.

We in IHRO will appreciate if the interested groups or individuals could
pool their efforts to for doing Sarbat Da Bhala (Welfare of all) and, thus,
proving that Raj Karega Khalsa, Aaki Rahey Na Koi (when Khalsa rules, no one
remains in distress) and making this mission a success. So, the Guru Panth
has to project only the Khalsa polity.

Sri Guru Granth Sahib is a perpetual Guru (Guide) and a model for truthful
living: ''Falsehood will perish, O Nanak, and truth shall prevail,
ultimately.' They should start afresh and stick to a new revolutionary
ideology aimed at the spiritual rejuvenation, moral uplift and social
emancipation of people, confronting the dogmatism and religious hypocrisy of
the priestly classes and challenging the religio-political oppression of the
contemporary leaders.

It is a good beginning that Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) president
Simranjit Singh Mann, Shiromani Khalsa Dal president Bhai Daljit Singh Bittu
and Damdami Taksal chief Baba Harnam Singh Khalsa, on February 12, the
birthday of Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindrawale, at Fatehgarh Sahib, announced to
carry forward the message of Bhindranwale to meet the aspirations of the
people of Punjab with a firm faith in justice and peace. For this, they
should put into practice the idea of collective leadership (Panch Pradhani)
at the gross root level along with the concept of selection, propagated and
practised by the Gurus and, thereafter, to sift out meritorious servers from
amongst them.

And they should strive to guide public opinion by propagating rational and
constructive views on Sikh Polity and human rights, including the right to
self-determination by virtue of which nations and peoples regain their lost
countries, maintain their cultural identity, and establish basic human and
economic rights. They should also co-operate and co-ordinate all political
and other groups in Punjab who categorically distance themselves from the
legacy of Rajiv-Longowal Accord and make commitment to secure socio-economic
and political justice and the dignity of the individual. In addition, on
that basis, combat racism and eradicate untouchability, castes and

Will they be able to do all that, is no one's assurance because all the
splinter Panthic groups have a problem of being threatened or highjacked
from each other. Smaller the group, graver is the problem. Ideologically,
politically or commitment-wise, there seems no difference or contradiction
among them to unite for the mission of the Guru. There may be some
organisational or day-to-day working problems that may be sorted out by
sitting together. Problem, which may crop up in the process of uniting, is
of leadership. For some time, collective leadership may the best choice.
But alas, petty vested interests with little uncanny personality cult seem a
big hindrance in forming the United Front to lead the Panth. We do not know
why they get together to celebrate birthday of great Sant Bhindranwale if
they cannot get on for his mission. May God bless them with politically wise
minds! d_oh.gif

D S Gill

Chair IHRO