Op/Ed: Founding of the Ram temple at Auodhya – the Sikh view

 The building of the Ram temple in Ayodhya was primarily a matter between the Muslims and the Hindus of India. The Muslims are resigned to their fate. There is no room for others to intervene or comment except that the Muslims must be speedily afforded generous compensation with grace as they have eventually made a great sacrifice in the interest of peace and amity. This is the national interest.
 
Nevertheless, the Mandir-Masjid controversy will go down as one of the most sordid affairs in modern Indian history. It is particularly telling that the judge writing the final judgment omitted to claim its authorship. This is the first judgment in burqa. The right-minded citizens of the country will for long life with a disturbed conscience on contemplating that the judgment is admittedly not based on facts, law, or history but on sentiment. We all hope that this will be the last one of the controversies of this kind that will tax the sense of fairness of the citizens of India.
 
While the moment of introspection lasts – the Sikhs would like to assert that some of the Sikh holy places demolished since 1947 will also be restored to them as graciously as the Muslims have conceded the site of the Babari Masjid to the Hindus. Let this be a part of the celebration of the unique historical moment. We too are as keen reconstruct our shrines at the original sites of Mangu Math, Gian Godri and others.
 
We Sikhs, also hope that the politicization of religion will end with this episode. The multi-cultural, multi-lingual, and multi-national character of this land cannot endure destructive shocks of this nature forever. As for us, we celebrate the wonderful variety of cultures that the Creator has blessed the world with. We want to live amicably with them all without seeking a change of a comma or a full stop in their rituals, doctrines and practices and without undermining their history.
 
The Sikhs are also greatly disturbed by the repeated attempts of the Hindutava leaders to use the occasion of Ram Temple ceremony to claim that the Sikhs are a part of Hinduism. Almost five and half centuries ago Guru Nanak refused the sacred thread. Let your men of legendary learning interiorise the impact of that act on the faith of a Sikh. We are friends of all, enemies of none. That is an essential part of spirituality for us. We belong to a sovereign independent dispensation. We urge all concerned to immediately stop interpreting our religion to us. Please leave that to our own theologians.
 
We ardently hope and fervently pray for a more peaceful and rational India free of communal strife after August 5, 2020. Let this be the legacy of this auspicious occasion.
 
The statement above is supported by Gurtej Singh, Sukhdev Singh Journalist, Jaspal Singh Sidhu Journalist, Gurbachan Singh Journalist, Bhinder Singh (GM Industry), Dr. Kuldip Singh Surgeon Patiala, Rajinder Singh (Khalsa Panchayat).

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  1. Almost five and half centuries ago Guru Nanak refused the sacred thread.

    “The Divine Thread started everything.
    The knower of the Thread is a yogi, his Knowledge is
    beyond the scope of the Vedas.
    Pearls stringed together form an ornament. The Divine Thread holds together the Universe.
    The Yogi wears this Thread when he becomes aware of his Divinity.
    Established in highest state of Yoga, the yogi discards the external thread.
    The wearer of the Thread of Knowledge is never unclean. The Thread exists within him.

    Knowledge is the greatest purifier.”
    — Brahma Upanishad —
    By renoucing the sacred thread one does not go against sanatana dharma, he just reminded people of the real meaning of that thread.

  2. We should at the worst be nuetral and as seen around the world where sikhi is NOT (error in other comment woops)opressed we should protest against the construction of the ram mandir on the location of the Babri masjid. Either have no religeous related thing built and maybe have a park or something. Letting the Hindu’s go ahead with this gives them the all clear for doing it again, whats stopping them from doing it to a gurdwara??? In their eyes we are apart of Hinduism.
    What is the point of having more gurdwaras if they are managed by corrupt people/ people who think sikhism is a part of hinduism? , it just puts bad name to Sikhi and helps the government achieve its goal of destroying sikhism. Iqbal singh of patna sahib should be excommunicated from the sikh panth as supporting the Ram mandir is fully against Sikhi.

  3. The timing of the construction of the temple raises concerns that it was purely political. BJP is in power and will most likely lose support due to the horrible management of the pandemic (could not have expected better from any indian politician anyway…), if they build a temple a temple on a place where Hindu extremists (Associated with BJP) destroyed a mosque they will get votes from hindu nationalists, and islamaphobic indians.
    This most definitely alienated the Muslims and further shows the Hindu supremacy in India.
    A Sikh should not support the construction of this temple and any sikh who supports it should be excommunicated!
    We should at the worst be nuetral and as seen around the world where sikhi is opressed we should protest against the construction of the ram mandir on the location of the Babri masjid. Either have no religeous related thing built and maybe have a park or something. Letting the Hindu’s go ahead with this gives them the all clear for doing it again, whats stopping them from doing it to a gurdwara??? In their eyes we are apart of Hinduism.
    What is the point of having more gurdwaras if they are managed by corrupt people/ people who think sikhism is a part of hinduism? , it just puts bad name to Sikhi and helps the government achieve its goal of destroying sikhism. Iqbal singh of patna sahib should be excommunicated from the sikh panth as supporting the Ram mandir is fully against Sikhi.

  4. I disagree with this story
    1. Islam destroyed a Hindu temple to build a mosque
    2. India demolished it to rebuild a Hindu temple
    No
    India took back land and a site to reconstruct there old rs temple that was sat there
    Let’s be clear on the facts
    Islam was not invited to India, India never asked Islam to destroy the temple and thirdly the mosque was built onto of a holy site that Islam had always done to show domination …. Why could they not build there mosque down the road back then ?
    This article fails to highlight the history
    And clearly is to self opinonated to further devide a community

  5. In the eyes of a Muslim, Sikhs, Hindus, Buddhists and other non-believers of Islam will always be infidels (kafirs). Christians and Jews are somewhat tolerated because of similarities among the religions. A Sikh view has been correctly described as a friend of all and enemy of none but it is balance that is harder to maintain as a Sikh community. It has been a bitter sweet relationship with both. On a smaller scale, small Sikh organizations and communities have lived in peace and Sikhs have had great relationship with both Muslim and Hindu communities all over the World. At the same time, Sikhs have had to face betrayal, political persecution, and discrimination from both in the past. Sikhs being a minority everywhere on this Earth and having been betrayed and persecuted by both under political and social pressures of all sorts, it has been difficult to maintain that balance. In the eyes of a Hindu, this is righting the wrongs of the past and moment of glory and victory. As a Sikh want to be, I see all this as God’s play. Here is line from Gurbani that teaches us:

    ਸਰਬ ਧਰਮ ਮਹਿ ਸ੍ਰੇਸਟ ਧਰਮੁ ॥
    सरब धरम महि स्रेसट धरमु ॥
    Sarab ḏẖaram mėh saresat ḏẖaram.
    Of all religions, the best religion

    ਹਰਿ ਕੋ ਨਾਮੁ ਜਪਿ ਨਿਰਮਲ ਕਰਮੁ ॥
    हरि को नामु जपि निरमल करमु ॥
    Har ko nām jap nirmal karam.
    is to chant the Name of the Lord and maintain pure conduct.

    ਸਗਲ ਕ੍ਰਿਆ ਮਹਿ ਊਤਮ ਕਿਰਿਆ ॥
    सगल क्रिआ महि ऊतम किरिआ ॥
    Sagal kir▫ā mėh ūṯam kiri▫ā.
    Of all religious rituals, the most sublime ritual

    ਸਾਧਸੰਗਿ ਦੁਰਮਤਿ ਮਲੁ ਹਿਰਿਆ ॥
    साधसंगि दुरमति मलु हिरिआ ॥
    Sāḏẖsang ḏurmaṯ mal hiri▫ā.
    is to erase the filth of the dirty mind in the Company of the Holy.

    ਸਗਲ ਉਦਮ ਮਹਿ ਉਦਮੁ ਭਲਾ ॥
    सगल उदम महि उदमु भला ॥
    Sagal uḏam mėh uḏam bẖalā.
    Of all efforts, the best effort

    ਹਰਿ ਕਾ ਨਾਮੁ ਜਪਹੁ ਜੀਅ ਸਦਾ ॥
    हरि का नामु जपहु जीअ सदा ॥
    Har kā nām japahu jī▫a saḏā.
    is to chant the Name of the Lord in the heart, forever.

    ਸਗਲ ਬਾਨੀ ਮਹਿ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਬਾਨੀ ॥
    सगल बानी महि अम्रित बानी ॥
    Sagal bānī mėh amriṯ bānī.
    Of all speech, the most ambrosial speech

    ਹਰਿ ਕੋ ਜਸੁ ਸੁਨਿ ਰਸਨ ਬਖਾਨੀ ॥
    हरि को जसु सुनि रसन बखानी ॥
    Har ko jas sun rasan bakẖānī.
    is to hear the Lord’s Praise and chant it with the tongue.

    ਸਗਲ ਥਾਨ ਤੇ ਓਹੁ ਊਤਮ ਥਾਨੁ ॥
    सगल थान ते ओहु ऊतम थानु ॥
    Sagal thān ṯe oh ūṯam thān.
    Of all places, the most sublime place,

    ਨਾਨਕ ਜਿਹ ਘਟਿ ਵਸੈ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ॥੮॥੩॥
    नानक जिह घटि वसै हरि नामु ॥८॥३॥
    Nānak jih gẖat vasai har nām. ||8||3||
    O Nanak, is that heart in which the Name of the Lord abides. ||8||3||

    • As a Hindu, it hurts me when even one Sikh consider himself as far from Hindus as Muslims, ie they do not feel any closer to Hindus than Muslims as you imply. That Hindus consider Sikhs “our people” is because of their respect and regard. I think rather than Sikhs being considered Hindus, Hindus should all try to be more like Sikhs and read and follow the teachings of the Gurus.

  6. This is an statement that I whole heartedly support as an Hindu as well. Though I will say this as a Hindu that I also do not fully support court’s decision. While there is plenty of evidence that Muslims used to demolish temples and build mosques and other islamic architecture on top of them, we are in 21st century India and maybe better decision was make that land a no man’s land OR land of sorrow for the number of lives it has taken OR make it a hospital OR make it a park OR worst come to worst, divide it between Hindus and Muslims and let there be mosque and temple side-by-side.

    Yes, from Qutub Minar that still has bricks with sanskrit written on them from the Jain temple on top of which it stands to numerous mosques that were built on top of temple. So Yes, there are countless examples of history of what Muslims have done to other religions and what Muslims continue to do where they are are majority, but I do not support it. My heart does not support it. This selfishness or small heartedness is not Indian tradition.

    What whatever it is, now that it is built, I fully and with all my heart support this statement from Sikh intellectuals. I hope and pray for more reasonable and rational India.

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