By getting out of the European Union, the UK Sikh voice is likely to become more stronger and the UK’s good-will towards Sikhs and religion in general will likely to either increase without European constraints or at least be safeguarded as it is now.
A large proportion of the UK’s public have lost faith in the integrity of politicians and the political system. People have began questioning the validity and truthfulness of claims made by politicians of both sides of the political argument. Discontent with politicians involved in expense scandals, growing fears of government cuts to essential services, and a desire for making society better than it is, led many to vote Brexit. However, the reality of situation will unfold only with time.
Gurbani teaches us to prepared for the future and have far-sightedness: “…ਦੇ ਲੰਮੀ ਨਦਰਿ ਨਿਹਾਲੀਐ ॥” (“…look ahead to the future with foresight.”). According to Gurbani, far-sightedness comes from spirituality and our connection with the Divine. Gurbani says, “ਸੋ ਪੜਿਆ ਸੋ ਪੰਡਿਤੁ ਬੀਨਾ ਜਿਨੑੀ ਕਮਾਣਾ ਨਾਉ ॥” (“They alone are learned, wise, and scholars, who accumulate the spiritual-wealth through connecting with the Divine.”). There is no greater preparation for the future than grounding ourselves with the spirituality laid in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji and remaining ready for the unknown through allowing the Guru’s virtues and glory to shine through our thoughts and actions.
|Bhai Gagandeep Singh, an inspiring ambassador for Sikhs in Spain on a Spanish talk show|
The way forward for European Sikhs is instill Gurmat values and thinking in their children as well as focus on getting their children educated. When young spiritually-strong and educated Gursikhs in different European countries become lawyers, doctors, writers, and journalists, they will be able to express their own narrative to the wider society and respective government. Building links with local communities and host community politicians will create stronger ties. A simple thing like regularly inviting politicians, teachers and police to the Gurdwara, explaining Sikhi to them, sharing Langar with them and having friendly dialogue will build bridges with decision-makers, who then become mindful and respectful of Sikhs.
|Bhai Ranjit Singh, a French law graduate, speaking in a French TV debate with French politicians|
Hopefully, one day, the young talented Gursikhs of European countries can reach influential positions where they can influence law-makers to safeguard Sikh rights like the pioneering Sikhs did in UK. There is already some young Gursikhs who are active in Europe and made a positive contribution for Sikhs living in their country. Early pioneers for Sikh rights faced many challenges and had to engage in peaceful protests to gain the right to wear the Dastaar on the buses or the right not to wear the helmet. Sikhs got into politics at first as local councillors and then eventually we got to a point where we have a Sikh proudly wearing a Dastaar in parliament. If Europe has young Gursikhs who are strong in their Sikhi, attached to Gurbani and dedicated to Simran, then their presence and aura will leave a positive effect on those they speak to. It is now time for the European Sikhs to venture out of their communities and engage in the wider community.
|Sharing Sikhi with the German public, Bhai Damandeep Singh of ‘Sikh Verband Deutschland’|