2013 in review

December 31, 2013

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 11,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

 

7 Responses to “2013 in review”

  1. tejwantsingh Says:

    My dear readers thank you very much for your interest in my blogs.
    I shall continue to try and live up to your expectations.
    May truth prevail and bring peace to our world.
    Tejwant Singh


  2. Respected Sir,

    Today on 23-02-2014 me and my other three friends had AFCAT paper
    we went to the center before time and waited there patiently .When the documents were checked the security guards found that we were wearing KIRPAN and they did not allowed us to go for the EXAM.We tried to justify why we wear this and what is the current position and rules regarding the same in India ,but to our dismay they had taken it so personal that they didn’t listened and challenged us ,that do what you can ,and we had to return .Sir my request to you is that if you can guide us in this we
    may prevent this humiliation to other candidates.This clearly seems an indirect
    way of rejecting Sikhs.The KIRPAN we were wearing were <6 inch.

    URAJ SINGH
    e-mail urajuv1984@gmail.com

    A FCA T Centre: Srinagar
    Kendriya Vidhyalaya No 2, A ir Force Station Srinagar, Old
    A irfield Srinagar, Pin -190007. Nearest Bus Stand Srinagar Bus
    Stand. Distance from Bus Stand to Exam Centre is 15 Kms
    Srinagar

    • tejwantsingh Says:

      Dear Uraj Singh Sasan,
      Please visit this link which is about Constitution of India: SECULARISM AND FREEDOM OF RELIGION
      Explanation 1 of Article 25 is specifically allowing Sikhs to wear and carry the Kirpan as mentioned below.
      They can be taken to court for violating the Constitution.

      http://courses.cs.vt.edu/cs3604/lib/Freedom.of.Speech/International/india.secularism.html
      SECULARISM AND FREEDOM OF RELIGION
      Article 25 (1) Subject to public order, morality and health and to the other provisions of this Part, all persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right freely to profess, practise and propagate religion.
      (2) Nothing in this article shall affect the operation of any existing law or prevent the State from making any law-
      (a) regulating or restricting any economic financial political or other secular activity which may be associated with religious practice;
      (b) 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.
      Explanation I. The wearing and carrying of Kirpans shall be deemed to be included in the profession of the Sikh religion.
      Explanation II. In sub-clause (b) of clause (2), the reference to Hindus shall be construed as including a reference to persons professing the Sikh, Jaina or Buddhist religion, and the reference to Hindu religious institutions shall be construed accordingly.

      Take a print of this and show them. Ask them to show any order which does not allow a Sikh and is against the Constitution of India.

      Group Captain Tejwant Singh (retd)


  3. Sir, I loved your all articles, Yes by the constitution of India we are allowed to practice and follow our faith, this is fundamental Right. I’m proud to be a Sikh by Faith and born with. I traveled almost half of the world and people they do not know about Sikh and on the other hand, Our Indian Govt as well never did anything regarding, as well people of Punjab who’s so ever they go abroad they become clean shave, which is why people do not know about us. Young generation is also becoming clean shave and cutting their beard. There should be something, which can be done other wise date will come when people will say,”when Sikh was there…” I’m not pessimistic, but you see what is happing with young blood and Own Sikh people they shy away to speak Punjabi or help mutual. I’m concerned… I hope something can be done regarding… Kanwaljit Singh

    • tejwantsingh Says:

      Dear Kanwaljit Singh,
      Waheguru ji ka Khalsa Waheguru ji ke Fateh
      I am very sorry for the delayed reply.
      Whatever concern you have expressed has been similarly taken up by Satwant Singh on 14th January, 2014 as his second question where he laments, ‘Everyone is shaving and nothing is happening in accordance as Guru Ji said ‘Raj karega Khalsa’.
      This reminds me of one Sikh Saint I met long time ago in Chandigarh in the mid-1960s. He was visiting some people who were also my relatives and I had gone to see them. He was sitting and casually chatting to his host. In due course the topic -as it invariably happens- came around to doing Naam Simran. The Saint cautioned that very bad times are coming from the mid-1970s onwards and the social environment in the country and the world would become bad.
      Then he said that there shall be much bloodshed in the Parikarma of Harmandir Sahib, Amritsar. We were all surprised and someone asked how will the situation become so bad that bloodshed could happen in the Parikarma? He said that pollution in the political and social environment shall become very bad that the impossible would happen. And due to that unfortunate incident and general suppression by the Government many Sikhs would stop keeping their Sikhi-Bana or appearance as a devout Sikh.
      Thirdly he said that hardcore Muslims shall rise by the end of the century and they would go to utter extremes with much-killings in the name of Jihad. After a long struggle the Muslims shall finish.
      I think they would change their ways and peacefully co-exist with other faiths because until then they would believe that non-Muslims must be converted or killed.
      Then a new leader shall emerge who would be a ‘Khalsa’ and there shall be a new wave and desire in people to emulate or copy the Sikhs. There shall be a desire in many people to take ‘Amrit-Pan’ but there wouldn’t be enough Amritdhari people to prepare Amrit for so many awakened souls. Therefore the awakened souls shall maintain Sikhi-Bana anyway.
      I have been watching the situation and co-relating it with the time frame the Saint mentioned. With the imposition of emergency in 1975 and total control by Indira Gandhi, the turning point in politics and the society started. Several people who would not have been tolerated in politics in earlier days joined the Congress. At present many criminals or so-called-leaders with criminal background are sitting in the Parliament as well as many State Assemblies making laws and plundering the economy.
      And you know what happened in 1984 in Harmandir Sahib and to the Sikhs in general. Nowadays a devout Sikh is looked upon with suspicion. And I can see many young men who have shaved or removed their turban and instead wear a cap over the Patka. I feel like telling them not to do so but I stop short because I know this was destined to happen.
      And you can see what some extremist Muslims are doing in the name of Islam and Allah. In retaliation many Governments headed by Muslims themselves are cracking down upon the extreme Islamic elements. I have received emails from a Muslim -who didn’t mention where he was writing from- saying that he visits Muslims countries in West Asia and has noticed an urge among the general masses for an end to these senseless killings. This shows that there is a need to remove certain portions from the Koran which authorize Muslim-men to kill non-Muslims. And the Koran says that in reward to kill non-Muslims loyal Muslim-men would go to heaven where there shall be valleys with green grass, many fruit trees and streams of clear water. And they would be given virgins to enjoy. I often wonder what a Muslim-woman would get to enjoy. This is the typical desire of people who wrote the Koran as they could not see green grass, fruit trees and streams of clear water in the desert of Arabia. And having sex with virgins is a great incentive for wild men with limited brains.
      The world has become a small place due to dramatic advancement in technology. Now one cannot live in a confined-dogmatic-narrow-minded-socially-polluted environment. We have to co-exist and live together happily.
      My intention in my blog as well as my books is to increase awareness about the Sikhs internationally. The aim is to show them as good, brave, exemplary, selflessly Sewa-inclined and hardworking Sikhs. In real life such a Sikh wearing the proud turban should stand out as the best example of a human being.
      I was reading about the plight of early Sikhs who went to America in the late 1800 as workers and settlers. The local white Americans found their appearance very suspicious and did not let them stay in their towns chasing them out to live separately. Those devoted Sikhs had a tough time but they tenaciously maintained their appearance and faith in their Guru.
      What is the use of a Sikh who wears a turban over his uncut hair and indulges in rape, thievery, uses bad language in public or in private and dose something which brings a bad name to the whole Sikh community? It is better if such a person shaves off. Gurbani states that such a person would be abandoned by the Guru and driven into oblivion as a punishment.
      Therefore worry not my friend. Quality of a Sikh-person is more important than quantity. The Guru lives in good qualities. Have you forgotten what Guru Gobind Singh said when he created the Khalsa Panth in March 1699: “I shall be there among my Punj Pyaras” -the five Khalsa.
      I have often wondered how the Sikh Regiment does very well in battle every time. That is because even if there are five perfect Khalsa-soldiers in a Battalion they would carry the other soldiers with them -who may not be very observant Sikhs- because the Guru is always there among the ‘Punj Pyaras’. Therefore if quality of Sikhi is maintained, the rest shall swim along though it would be preferred that everyone maintain it.
      I have recently come to know that Uganda, a country in Africa, has honoured Sikhs who have been living there for more than 100 years by issuing four postal stamps. They had gone to East Africa in the 1880s as soldiers who offered skilled and semi-skilled labour at a time when the region had no infrastructure. They also helped curb a tribal mutiny in 1899.
      It is a unique case of a country acknowledging publicly the contribution of a minority from another land: A rare occurrence in today’s world. It’s a very good example -how a Sikh should live particularly out of India.
      The story line in Uganda is given at http://www.asianjournal.ca dated February 09, 2014.

      Very useful information has come out due to Satwant Singh’s first question about the last days of Guru Gobind Singh. You may like to read below, unless you already know about this.
      The exact events that took place before Guru Gobind Singh passed the ‘Guru Gaddhi’ to Guru Granth Sahib and left this world had been earlier researched and written about in a book titled ‘THE HERITAGE OF THE SIKHS’ by Professor Harbans Singh. This book was published in 1985 by Manohar Publications, 1 Ansari Road, Darya Ganj, New Delhi-110002.
      Professor Harbans Singh, who expired a few years back, had also written 15 other books about Guru Sahibans and their Sikhs. The list is: Guru Nanak and Origins of the Sikh Faith; Guru Teg Bahadur; Guru Gobind Singh; Maharaja Ranjit Singh; Bhai Vir Singh; Aspects of Punjabi Literature; Higher Education in America; Bhai Vir Singh: Poet of the Sikhs; An Introduction to Indian Religions; Perspectives on Guru Nanak; Approaches to the Study of Religion; Punjab Past and Present; Berkeley Lectures on Sikhism; Mahindi and Le Sikhisme. His books have been translated into several Indian languages.
      Some of these books may be available in Punjab and Delhi libraries. I didn’t see any in American libraries during an online search. The only book about Punjab and Sikhs in some American libraries was a coffee-table version by late Khushwant Singh which cannot be accessed by common people who would like to pick-up one at a local book shop out of curiosity. A coffee-table version is basically a pictorial book which serves as a decoration piece in one’s drawing or living room.
      Finding total lack of common information about the Sikhs prompted me to write my first book, ‘The Bold Brave and Fearless’ where the main character is a Sikh soldier. This book is available on http://www.amazon.com. My next book about bravery of selfless Sikh warriors is titled ‘Someone Will Come’. I am trying to find an Agent to get it published in America. Besides the absence of enough reading material about the Sikhs in American libraries, being harassed by Americans of European as well as African origin after the 9/11 was also one of the reasons for starting this blog.
      I found awareness about the Sikhs among common Americans shockingly very-very poor even when I went to fly with the US Air Force in 1964. Almost everyone at the Air Force Base, beyond my Squadron, thought I was from Turkey or Saudi Arabia or was related to Ali Baba, a character from the ‘Arabian Nights’ stories. And out on the street general knowledge of most common people was so bad that they didn’t know anything beyond their own County.
      Coming to the first question by Satwant Singh about ‘the last days of Guru Gobind Singh at Nanded and His message to the Sikhs’: After Guru Gobind Singh baptized Madho Das on September 3, 1708 with Amrit and sent him off to Punjab to carry on the struggle against tyranny, Guru Sahib was happily settled on the bank of Godavari River like he had been comfortable near the Ganga in Patna Sahib and near the Sutlej at Anandpur Sahib. But Nawab Wazir Khan, the Subedar (Governor) of Sirhind, was concerned at the Mughal Emperor’s conciliatory treatment of Guru Sahib. Fearing for his own position the Subedar had sent two of his trusted Pathans named Jamshed Khan and Wasil Beg to harm Guru Gobind Singh. They followed him to Nanded and began to familiarize with the Sikh camp with their ulterior motive.
      One evening, as Guru Gobind Singh lay resting in his chamber after the Rehiras prayers, one of these Pathans suddenly stabbed him with his dagger on the left side of the abdomen. By the time he could attack again, Guru Sahib struck him down with his own sabre. The other Pathan was finished by the Sikhs when they rushed on hearing the commotion. When the news reached the Mughal Emperor’s nearby camp he sent expert surgeons including an Englishman. The wound was healed but on a later occasion it opened up and started bleeding badly when Guru Sahib stretched a powerful bow. The wound would not heal then.
      Therefore on October 6, 1708 Guru Gobind Singh called all the Sikhs and reminded then how Akal’s Will had to be cheerfully accepted under all conditions and at all times. Then he asked for the Sacred Volume of Granth Sahib to be brought forth to his presence. What transpired then is from the writings of Bhatt Vahi Talauda Parganah Jind. His full name was Narbud Singh Bhatt son of Kesho Singh Bhatt. Narbud Singh Bhatt was with Guru Gobind Singh at Nanded at that time.
      It goes: Guru Gobind Singhji, mahila dasman, beta Guru Tegh Bahadurji ka, pota Guru Hargobindji ka, parpota Guru Arjunji ka, bans Guru Ram Dasji ki, Surajbansi Gosal gotra, Sodhi Khatri, basi Anandpur, parganah Kahlur, muqam Nander tat Godavari, des dakkan, sammat satran sai painsath Kartik mas ki chauth, sukla pakkhe, budhvar ke dihun, Bhai Daya Singh se bachan hoya, Sri Granth Sahib lai ao, bachan pai Daya Singh Sri Granth Sahib lai aye. Guruji ne panch paise narial age bheta rakha, matha teka, sarbatt Sangat se kaha mera hukam hai meri jagah Sri Granthji ko janana, jo Sikh janega tis ke ghal thaen paegi Guru tis ke bahuri karega, satt kar manana.
      Translated it reads: Guru Gobind Singh, the Tenth Master, son of Guru Tegh Bahadur, grandson of Guru Hargobind, great-grandson of Guru Arjun, of the family of Guru Ram Das, Surajbansi, Gosal gotra, Sodhi Khatri, resident of Anandpur, parganah Kahlur, now at Nander, in the Godavari country in the Deccan, asked Bhai Daya Singh, on Wednesday, October 6, 1708, to fetch Sri Granth Sahib. In obedience to his orders, Bhai Daya Singh brought Sri Granth Sahib. The Guru placed before it five paisa and a narial and bowed his head before it. He said to the Sangat, “It is my commandment: Own Sri Granth Sahib in my place. He who so acknowledges it will obtain his reward. The Guru will rescue him. Know this as the truth.”
      Another authority that may relevantly be quoted is Devaraja Sharma’s Nanakacandrodayamahakavyam, an old Sanskrit manuscript which has been published by Sanskrit University, Varanasi. It proclaims that Sri Granth Sahib would be the Guru after him.
      The original in Sanskrit reads as follows:
      Nandalalas tadaprechat ko asmakam adhuna guruh,
      kam namena ca pasyema kasmai varta vadema,
      ca use gurustu yusmakam grantha eva gurumatah,
      tam nameta ca pasyeta tasmai varta vadeta ca.
      Translated it says: While the Master lay on his deathbed, Nand Lal came forward and asked the following questions: “Who shall be our teacher now? Who shall we salute and see and what shall be the object of our discourse?” The Master replied, “The Granth, which itself is the doctrine of the Guru, shall be your teacher. This is what you should see; this is what you should honour; this is what should be the object of your discourse.”
      Nand Lal could only be ‘Bhai Nand Lal’, who wrote the famous Persian verse ‘Sahib-e-Kmaal Guru Gobind Singh’. He became a devoted follower of Guru Gobind Singh when he came to him seeking protection from Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb who was very keen to convert him to Islam since Nand Lal was the best poet of Persian language in his court.
      I hope I have been able to answer the questions to your satisfaction.
      Waheguru ji ka Khalsa Waheguru ji ke Fateh
      Tejwant Singh

  4. Ranganath Says:

    I have read your blogs sir, and it is a journey into the history of the Medieval India. Infact the CBSE should consider adding a chapter on Sikh Gurus in the History text Books.

    • tejwantsingh Says:

      Thank you, Ranganath, for your very nice and objective comment.
      Sometime back when I was about to leave for USA to meet my grandchildren, my son-in-law requested me to bring some books on Sikh history in pictorial form and in simple language which small children could understand -to help the kids establish link with our culture.
      In fact during that visit in 2012, I came across a Maharashtrian couple whose son was known to my children. They came to my grandson’s birthday party and there the topic of helping the next generation learn our multifarious Indian cultures came up. I opined that each one of our region has to make individual efforts to procure suitable books and electronic media to teach the next generation at home itself.
      Going back to the request made by my son-in-law requested, I went to a local book shop in Gurgaon which is an extension of their well-established Publishing house. The owner is a Punjabi Hindu. I specifically asked for pictorial books on Sikhism and he could pull out just one book on Guru Nanak only. There were any number of books about Hindu gods and goddesses and other interesting books on Indian mythology and famous well known ‘Kathas’ –stories for teenagers.
      Since ironically majority of the Punjabi Hindus go to the Gurdwara as and when they need to only I was a little blunt, “Youngman, your firm could not have published all those books about Hindu gods and goddesses had the Sikh Gurus not taken a stand against the onslaught of Islam 300 years back. You would have been publishing the Koran instead. You ought to be ashamed. How about doing it now?”
      He was obviously embarrassed and gave me the telephone number of his firm’s chief executive dealing with publishing. I called him and said almost the said words. I of course, before going abroad, went to one of the historical Gurdwaras in Delhi and found some useful books at the shops which are normally located near the entrance.
      A few months ago I was visiting the same book shop in Gurgaon and was pleasantly surprised to see a book about the Sikh Gurus though their biographies were sketchy. A lot more needs to be done even now.
      It would be worthwhile if people like you suggest to the CBSE to add a sufficiently detailed chapter on Sikh Gurus in the History text Books.
      Tejwant Singh


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