Saturday, December 23, 2006

Scripture and weapons...

Pehle shāstar se maro. Jo bach jai, to shastar se maro...
First attempt to destroy (all religions and movements that are a danger to Brahmins) should be through re-interpretation of their theology and scripture. If that does not work, then physical destruction of the enemy with weapons is a must.

This is attributed to Ādī Shankarāchāryā (788-820 C.E.), a Brahmin well versed in the Vedic tradition, who led the movement to completely annihilate Buddhism from South Asia.

Does it sound familiar? The difference with the Sikhs and Sikhī is that complete annhilation or assimilation has not taken place yet. But its getting awfully close! And the strategy of scripture and weapon attack as espoused by the Brahmin seems to have morphed into a cyclic tactic. Why? Well, look back at the major events of our past.

The post-Banda Singh Bahadur and pre-Misl period, physical destruction was attempted by the ruling elite (with connivance with Brahminical forces) because the Guru's scripture and theology was intact. Don't forget that prior attempts to dilute Sikh thought by Dhīrmalīe, Rāmrāīe, Masands, etc. had already taken place, so attack on scripture and theology was indeed attempted first. Then Misl period and the Sarkār-e-Khālsā period (aka Ranjit Singh rule) the Sikh literary canon had been severely tampered with (gurbilas, janamsakhis, rahatname, and others). Thankfully the Singh Sabhā period brought an end to that. Then post-partition of Panjāb (1947 onwards), when Sikhs were destined for 2nd class citizen status in Bharat, once again a physical annhilation was attempted in the 1980's and 1990's. Although there was tremendous loss of quantity, the quality seemed to have survived to some extent.

But alas, now it is clear and evident that the attack on our scriptural canon and theology is in full swing. The whole concept of Sikhī is under attack once again and sanction for this is being announced in the highest echelons of Sikh leadership. I will not give specific details, I leave it up to you to decipher the situation by reading and asking for yourselves.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting, though the tools or rather the weapons as we know have taken different form, soft attacks by hindi movie on sikh psyche or deliberate circumstances led by the government on punjabi/sikh population in punjab!

    But really, attack can only be stopped by not by us attacking back but getting involved on humanely level!