A few days ago I wrote a post against religion. The one I critiqued most harshly was the one I was born into-Sikhism. Between being born into something and being a follower of it, there’s a world of difference. This Rolling Stone gathers no moss so has special preference. But over the past year I have developed a deep suspicion of one particular path. Its a prejudice one is incredibly ashamed off, a motivating factor which lead to my 54 days on the road. My next blog was supposed to be about my experience with Hinduism but before I get into that just a couple of thoughts.
The ‘Baladkaari Baba’, as ABP news has been calling him, or the self proclaimed spiritual guru, of the Dera Sacha Sauda, Gurmeet Singh Ram Rahim ‘Insan’, has been sentenced to 20 years in prison after being found guilty of raping two of his followers. The two Sadhvis have fought a long drawn battle that has lasted over 15 years. I think practically everyone in this country has been glued to the idiot box for the past few days (including I who can only watch the news once in a few days, that also only at night because I have not been able to desensitise myself from what happens. I find myself yelling at the television or feeling absolutely low). The CBI which has been called the ‘caged parrot’ of political parties by the Supreme Court, has for once done all the correct things, which has lead to the fall of a spiritual guru, who has millions of ‘premis’.
This case has been an eye opener for me on various levels. While I was on the road I realised that Sikhism seemed comparitively liberal and open a religion, due to the lack of numbers. Where the numbers were high, like in Punjab where the majority is of Sikhs, casteism was highly dominant. This case unfortunately affirms that fleeting thought. My Dad very recently told me, that his Grandfather, was ‘an Akali’ and was jailed a number of times not because of the Freedom Struggle but due to the Singh Sabha Movement. The movement started in 1873 was for the revival of the Sikh faith. In 1920, the historical Gurudwaras were freed from the hold of Mahants who were keeping ‘the lower castes’ out. Though, the movement was a success, it seems a revival is required. More than a hundred years later, it seems that the Sikhs have gone against the teachings of their Gurus and forgotten that, ‘there is no caste system. We are all born equal and everyone is allowed into the Gurudwaras.’ This, entire escapade of people going crazy enough to chop off their balls for some one like Gurmeet Singh Ram Rahim, is as much a failure of the state as it is the failure of all Sikhs. And Yes, that crazy assed, bling loving, castarating, rapist was born into a Sikh family! Shit! That’s why I say that being born into and a being a follower are totally different things.