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Hindu-Sikh Relationship (part 10/10)

            Hindu-Sikh Relationship (part 10/10)

 When the British showed solicitude for the minorities, 
national India resented it and called it a British game. But
surprisingly enough, the game continues to be played even after
the British left. The minorities are encouraged to feel insecure
and aggrieved. The minority stick is found handy to beat the 
majority. Hindu-baiting is politically profitable and intellectually
fashionable. Constantly under attack, a Hindu tries to save
himself by self-accusation; he behaves as if he is making
amends for being a Hindu.

 The atmosphere provided hot-house conditions for the growth
of divisive politics. Our Sikh brethren too remembered the old
lesson (never really forgotten), taught to them by the British,
that they were different. Macauliffe's works published in the
first decade of the century were reissued in the sixties. More
recent Sikh scholars wrote histories of the Sikhs which were
variations of the same theme. In no case, they provided a 
different vision and perspective.

 In the last two decades, another separating factor too has
been silently at work. Thanks to the Green Revolution and varioaus
other factors, the-Sikhs have become relatively more rich
and prosperous. No wonder, they have begun to find that the
Hindu bond is not good enough for them and they seek a new
identity readily available to them in their names and outer 
symbols. This is an understanble human frailty.

 "You have been our defenders," Hindus tell the Sikhs. But in
the present psychology, the compliment wins only contempt --and I
believe rightly. For self-despisement is the surest way of losing
a friend or even a brother. It also gives the Sikhs an exaggerated

 Under the pressure of this psychology, grievences were
manufactured; extreme slogans were put forward with which even
moderate elements had to keep pace. In the last few years, even
the politics of murder was introduced. Finding no check, it knew
not where to stop; it became a law unto itself; it began to 
dictate, to bully. Camps came up in India as well as across the
border, where young men were taught killing, sabotage and
guerilla warfare. The temple at Amritsar became an arsenal, a
fort, a sanctuary for criminals. This grave situation called for
necessary action which caused some unavoidable damage to the
building. When this happened, the same people who looked at the
previous drama, either helplessly or with an indulgent eye, felt
outraged. There were protest meetings, resolutions, desertions
from the army, aid committees for the suspvects apprehended,
and even calls and vows to take revenge. The extremists
were forgotten. There were two standards at work; there was a
complete lack of self-reflection even among the more moderate and
responsible Sikh leaders.

 The whole thing created wide-spread resentment all over India
which burst into a most unwholesome violence when Mrs. Indira
Gandhi was assassinated. The befoggers have again got busy and
they explain the whole tragedy in terms of collusion between
the politicians and the police. But this conspiracy A growing
resentment at the arrogant Akali politics is the main cause of
this fearful heppening.

 However, all is not dark. The way the common Hindus and Sikhs
stood for each other in the recent happenings in the Punjab and
Delhi show how much in common they have. In spite of many recent
provocations, lapses and misunderstandings, they have shown that
they are one in blood, history, aspiration and interest. In a
time so full of danger and mischief, this agelong unity proved
the most solid support. But seeing what can happen, we should
not take this unity for granted. We should cherish it, cultivate
it, re-emphasize it. We can grow great together; in separation,
we can only hurt each other.

Authored by Shri Ram Swarup     Courtesy: Voice of India

If you missed the earlier parts, please send me an email.

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