22 February 2010


"When your enemy has you flat on your back, his boot on your face, his knife at your throat and his gun cocked at your temple, you laugh at him.  "Ha!  You can kill me, but you can't defeat me."  That's chardi kala.  That's what it means to be a Sikh."

By now we have all heard about our Sikh brothers being beheaded by the taliban in Pakistan.  The more it changes, the more it stays the same.

Perhaps they will next start bricking up young children?

First published in Sikh Philosophy Network.

From this latest article it seems that they really could have saved their lives by converting. And they refused. Let's let the world know:


Mon, Feb 22 06:08 AM

Three Sikh men were said to have been beheaded by Taliban groups in the FATA area of Pakistan and their heads sent to a gurudwara in Peshawar.

According to information available with India late this evening, one of the Sikhs has been identified as Jaspal Singh. He and his two friends were residents of Badi near Peshawar.

(Late tonight, a PTI report from Pakistan quoted sources as saying there was confusion on the exact numbers, that two men had been beheaded and others were being held hostage. It said the body of Jaspal Singh was found in Khyber while that of Mahal Singh was found in Orakzai Agency. Gurvinder Singh and Gurjit Singh, the sources said, were among those being held captive.)

The men had gone to the FATA area for some work but were held by Taliban groups who apparently asked them to convert to Islam. Sources said the information so far suggests that the men resisted the order and were then beheaded.

Later, their heads were sent to Bhai Joga Singh Gurudwara in Peshawar. The incident has shocked the small Sikh community in Peshawar.

This attack, sources said, comes in the backdrop of repeated threats to the Sikh community there to convert if they wanted to stay on. India has in the past taken up the issue of security of Hindus and Sikhs in Pakistan. While the Pakistan government has been committed to providing security to minority groups, this incident has certainly made matters far more dangerous and sensitive.

The Haqqani group and factions of the Quetta Shura along with the Pakistan Taliban are active in these parts of Pakistan which border Afghanistan.

Last year, Taliban militants took over shops and homes of 35 Sikh families and arrested community leaders in Ferozkhel, Orakzai Agency.
Express news service

So we climb into our Time Machine and go into the future: 
Vaisakhi, 1041 Nanakshahi (2510 CE):

Children , let me tell you about the ancient days, 500 years ago. It had been a difficult time for us Sikhs. Only about 25 years earlier, the army of India had attacked Harimandir Sahib in Amritsar - No, no, Inderjeet, this was before Khalistan had been freed and Amritsar was in the old country of India - Anyway, untold numbers were killed then and later that year, Mrs. Gandhi had been executed by us Sikhs.

This was followed by the genocide of the Sikh Quam all over India (except in Bengal, but that's another story). So it was a difficult time. There followed years of persecution in Punjab and I'm afraid many Sikhs were much disheartened, their chardi kala hibernating. Then one day in 541, a couple months before Vaisakhi, some Singhs were kidnapped by a group of Mughals called Taliban. They were offered the choice: Convert or die!

One day later, their heads were delivered to the gurudwara in Peshawar. My children, that was the beginning of the Great Rebirth of the Sikh Nation, when we all woke up, reclaimed our chardi kala and returned to being Sikhs of the Guru once more...

So now we sit here in our capital each year and remember and celebrate and enjoy our great land.