Thursday, November 16, 2006

Weekly Discussion - Storming Of The Temple



This week the WSSA was able to finally hold its long-awaited discussion. The first of three parts, it was concerned with the events that took place in a year Sikhs will never forget-1984. Here are some points- feel free to contribute- we all have much to learn from one another. Feel free to watch the documentary before you proceed to read the discussion.


The following are points that disagree with the actions taken by Sant ji and his fellow Sikhs in reference to attack on the Darbar Sahib in Amritsar:

• It is wrong to have weapons within a holy shrine- this group had no right to bring weapons in a place of worship
• What are the chances that this militant group had the same intentions as Guruji in his time?
• It is wrong to answer violence with violence
• These individuals had different intentions when they held “weapons” in their hands- it gave them a sense of power and that was all.
• The militants were very forceful in their actions They would go to randomhouses in the middle of the night and demand food and shelter leaving families who provided this to have to deal with questions from the localpolice in the morning.

General statements made to bring about further discussion:

• Individuals who joined the Khalistan movement had personal motives

The following are points that support the actions taken by Sant ji and his fellow Sikhs:

In reference to having firearms/weapons in the Akaal Takht:

• As Sikhs, we should have no problem carrying fire arms anyways- it is the right of every Sikh to do so.
• At Hazoor Sahib- Guru Gobind Singh Sahib’s Bandookhs are present

In reference to the Khalistan Movement and the emergence of Militants:

• These militants probably became militants out of anger Their families were destroyed, they were thrown into jail, their genitals were burnt
• It did not have anything to do with personal motives because as a Sikh youare a universal fighter. Raising a weapon in defence, for a greater cause is not considered wrongful in Sikhi.

General statements made to bring about further discussion:

• Punjab was further divided by Indira Gandhi…Invites conflict
• The Government admitted that they trained people to discredit the Sikhs
• All Sikhs do not deny that they were responsible for killing theNirankaris-however they were justified in their actions.
o (This is revolving around the issue in 1978 where an individual claimed to be the living Guru of the Sikhs- he disrespected the Holy Guru Granth Sahib ji and claimed that their were “Sat Sitaaray” ( 7 stars) instead of the Panj Pyarey (5 beloved ones). As a result of showing such disrespect, this individual was shot.
• However, there was also violence against the Sikhs when they were carrying out a peaceful protest- not having any weapons and were still attacked- how is this fair?

In response to the well known question who is to blame?

• The majority of innocents who were killed in this massacre were killed by the government, not these alleged militants.
• Blame cannot just be put upon the few bad apples (from the group involved in the movement against the Indian government). A lot of the blame should also be placed upon the breakdown of Sikh Organizations. For example Babbar Khalsa changed its requirements - initially they were very strict in who could become a member during the early stages of the violence, however
shortly thereafter, they broke down by loosening requirements, thus making way for “bad apples” to come into the picture.


Questions raised:

• How did this become a Sikh-Hindu conflict? Who instigated this idea?
• Why did these individuals become militants/freedom fighters in the first place? What drove them to make this decision?
• Why not fight for the cause?
• Why is it that there is such a divide in reference to the occurrences of 1984 among the Sikhs? How come it is so difficult to reach a general consensus especially since they were the victimized group?
• It is difficult to understand why ‘Sant’ Bhindranwale was looked down upon and is continuously put in such a negative light- what makes him this so called terrorist?
• Although there has been an apology issued to the Sikhs from the government, this was done by a fellow sikh who previously lied to the UN and stated no Human Rights Abuses occurred in Punjab. Consequently, can this even be regarded as a valid apology?
• What can be done now? How can we correct this situation or at least do something to achieve some level of peace?

To be discussed/considered next week:

• Should the individuals directly involved with Sant Bhinderawale’s group during 1984 be considered militants or freedom fighters?
• The difference between a terrorist and a Saint Soldier
• How this has become a Sikh- Hindu conflict and who has instigated this idea.
• Anything else members choose to discuss

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

why is a discussion on 1984 given multiple weeks, when all you are discussing is the past? What is the point of this?

WesternSSA said...

Waheguroo Jee Kee Khalsa!
Waheguroo Jee Kee Fateh!

The reason this discussion is given more than one week, is becuase the members most often like discussing it more in depth than most other topics. Also, since this event is recent and many don't know about it, we feel that it is important for us to share with Sikh Youth, the history of what happen within their own life times.

In regards to it being in the past, we hold this not to be true, as many continue to suffer from the consequences of this period.

The structure of this discussion goes as follows

week 1 - documentry and history of what happen, to familiarize members with the events that took place

week 2 - discuss what happen, open up any questions and/or concerns

week 3 - discuss the present, what is happening now? What can be done? Do we need to move on?

Yours Truly, Your Sevadaars
WesternSSA Exec

Waheguroo Jee Kee Khalsa!
Waheguroo Jee Kee Fateh!

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