Sikhs Are More Liberal and Secular
Balbir Singh Sooch, Advocate,
scenario is age of liberalism and logic based on tolerance for
attaining peace and justice. The principle,
‘well beings of humanity’ i.e. Sarbat Da Bhala is already
enshrined in ‘Sri Guru Granth Sahib’.
involved in clash against each other in the name of religion, may be
Sikhs are disobeying the teachings of Sri Guru Granth Sahib openly.
The true Sikhs should always believe in casteless and classless
society including the one that there cannot be a living guru. The
problem is more political than religious and the fault lies with the
politicians. The immoral politicians are supporting such mean
we say and which is also true that Sri Guru Granth Sahib’s teachings
are meant for well being of humanity, not only for Sikhs. Though, the
teachings were being followed more in violation than obeying.
“All are called partners in thy grace. Thou art seen alien to none.”
our exceptional claim of ‘oneness’ of humanity and the objection to
the claim by anyone irrespective his religion, style of living, that
varies in each family and person to person has always to be
the context of human norms and values enshrined in Sri Guru Granth
Similarly, but wrongly, the Hindu scholars started justifying the
Manu discriminatory system under the garb of the theory of division
of labour and distribution of work permanently. They also started
claiming now that the situation is changed and gradually the Hindu
society is taking turn for the best. To avoid their fundamentalist
face, in present International scenario, they stepped further saying
that Hindus have no religion but only have a system of working
Now, they can go to any extent to prove themselves as secular though
that term of secularism is nowhere better explained except in ‘Sri
Guru Granth Sahib’ that is meant for Sarbat Da Bhala, well
beings of humanity.
The Hindu scholar, latest to my knowledge, Dr. Paras Dewan, a
renowned legal figure and former Professor and Head of Department of
Laws, Panjab University, Chandigarh used to explain that despite the
discriminatory Hindu religious scriptures, Hinduism survived because
of its liberalism.
his words, Hindu liberalism means that Hinduism does not disown on
any ground of misconduct of immorality etc may be of any nature to
any extent unless an individual converts permanently to Christianity
The scholar never offended the feelings of his students while
teaching subject of family law in the context in class.
Though, the interpretation of words does change as per the
situation, circumstances, time i.e. according to the behaviour of
society, ruler etc and by way of utterance, while changing to
different group from the common group(s) and after the lapse of
particular period, but it also finally depends upon the nature of
person as to how he twists the interpretation and what is he willing
to extract out of it? Moreover, each word in English language
conveys more meanings comparing to other languages.
Legally speaking, to my mind, here in the
Article 25-The Constitution of
India- Freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and
propagation of religion-
Explanation-I do recognize Sikhs separate identity and religion. The
Explanation II of the Article does not put any shadow so far the
separate identity and religion are concerned.
The Explanation II of the Article does include the persons
professing the Sikh,
or Buddhist religion to ‘all classes and sections of Hindus’ for the
purpose of providing for social welfare and reform or the throwing
open of Hindu religious institutions of a public character to all
classes and sections of Hindus.
The Explanation II of the Article does not mean to adversely affect
the persons professing the Sikh, Jaina or Buddhist religion. It only
talks of equality only, may be subject to the misconception.
The interpretation of mine in the context of ‘Sikh religion’ is
purely literally legal nothing to do with politics.
The Bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justices R V
Raveendran and Deepak Verma explained the proviso to Article 25 to
allay the misconception:.
The Bench agreed with the counsel that immigration authorities in
Middle-East countries were stubborn but counselled the petitioner to
move the appropriate authority in government for a solution rather
than approaching the court. In view the observation by the Supreme
Court of India, I did comment as under:
“As it appears the relief was sought in the petition as it looks,
only to allay the misconception or the ignorance of the immigration
authorities in Middle-East countries.
So, in this case by counseling the petitioner to move the
appropriate authority in government for a solution rather than
approaching the court, there did not seem any question of axing Sikh
my mind, the misconception about Sikh identity can be removed by a
simple administrative order by an addition, ‘the bride and
bridegroom are Sikh by religion or words to that effect’ in the
marriage registration rules. Thereafter, the endorsement should be
made to that effect in the certificate issued after the registration
of marriage of Sikhs. Isn’t?”
In response to
the observation made by the Hon’ble Supreme Court that “the term
“Hindu” is used only for the purpose of grouping and to
implementation of the laws”,
Dr. Harminder Singh from Bangalore
has said, “If this is the case, then why other religions such as
Christians, Muslims etc are not included under the term “Hindu”,
because they are eating cow’s meat? When Sikhs have their separate
religion and identities such as 1) Holy Granth, 2) Gurmukhi/ Punjabi
Scriptures, 3) Identity, 4) Religious Flag, 5) Separate culture
etc., then why the Sikhism is not recognized as a separate religion?
Whether the law makers have any reply of this question?
Sikhs are included under the term “Hindu” only to say or claim that,
the Sikhs are Hindus and to humiliate them and nothing else. When
the Sikhs having their separate “Anand Marriage Act” which was
enacted in 1909, then why they were forced to take marriage
certificate under the Hindu Marriage Act? However, it’s my personal
view that, until the Indian Sikhs are not going to consume cow’s
meat, till then they will be consider as Hindus. Once they will
start consuming cow’s meat automatically they will be recognized as
Sikhs and the day is not far.”
consideration and applying my mind in the present scenario i.e. age
of liberalism and logic and the Hindu’s philosophical approach, I
preferred to express my views in similar language of Learned
Dr. Harminder Singh as under:
“So far, I
understand Hindu’s philosophical approach being a student of law, it
will never disown Sikhs, Janis, Buddhists, and Dalits along with
their separate identity in any manner as long as they are submissive
someone challenged the approach collectively or individually, the
Hindu fundamentalists will do every non-sense to denigrate their
institutions and martyrs.
fundamentalists will never change their mentality of supremacy and
shall also question separate identity of others especially targeting
Sikhs as was experienced openly and rest is the history.
The approach of
fundamentalists only was of not tolerating Sikhs, Janis, Buddhists,
Dalits and their true independent and separate identity.
approach and the reaction planned would further help to disintegrate
Now the parties
are not only playing with the sentiments of Indians, but also
working for disintegration of India i.e. India to become
confederation of the independent of states.”
Elevation of Adi Granth to Guru Granth Sahib:The
Adi Granth was conferred the title of "Guru of the Sikhs" by the
tenth Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, in October, 1708, and thereafter rest
everything is secondary and optional for Sikhs.
Singh Guru (1666-1708), the tenth Guru in Sikh tradition, affirmed
the sacred text Adi Granth as his successor, terminating the line of
human Gurus, and elevating the text to Guru Granth Sahib.
From that point on, the text remained not only the holy scripture of
the Sikhs, but is also regarded by them as the living embodiment of
the Ten Gurus.
The role of Guru Granth Sahib, as a source for all purposes
including the ‘Sikh
definition’ and the ‘Sikh Rehat Maryada’
or guide of prayer, is pivotal in worship in Sikhism.
Guru Gobind Singh officially ordained Guru Granth Sahib as the
final and perpetual Guru of Sikhs.
Sri Guru Granth Sahib is being accepted as the universal spiritual
leader of Sikhs and also for its all followers keeping in mind the
secular nature of Sikh faith.
definition’ the ‘Sikh Rehat Maryada’ etc have to be defined within
and subject to the Sri
Guru Granth Sahib only and any contradictory thoughts have to be and
must be kept apart as being personal, suiting to any individual or
group or organisation who is free to adopt his own way of living
i.e. secondary and optional so long it does not violate the
nature of Sikh faith. But rest all is politics.
misconception or the ignorance about identity etc could be only
removed by truly following Sri Guru
Granth Sahib and by way of the administrative remedy at all levels
without bothering as to how others were or are grouping Sikhs in
order to implementation of the laws nationally and
internationally. Sikhs have to be more
liberal and secular in the world.
Emailed for circulation on
February 12, 2010 4:02 PM (IST)