Saturday, October 31, 2009

Sikh leaders to join UN Secretary General on Climate Change at Windsor Castle before Copenhagen

NEW YORK: Sikh environmental activists Baba Sewa Singh and Baba Balbir Singh Seechewal will be part of what has been called �the biggest civil society movement on climate change in history�� Leaders from nine of the world�s major faiths � Baha�ism, Buddhism, Christianity, Daoism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Shintoism and Sikhism � will gather in Windsor Castle from November 2-4, 2009, to commit to long-term practical action to save the environment.

They will announce a huge range of practical initiatives, from new faith-based eco-labelling standards for Islam, Hinduism and Sikhism to the planting of 8.5 million trees in Tanzania; from sourcing sustainable fuel for India�s Sikh gurdwaras (which feed 30 million people every day) to the greening of religious buildings and introducing eco tourism policies for pilgrimages � still the world�s biggest travel events.

So significant is this move that UN Secretary-General, His Excellency Ban Ki-moon will make a keynote address at the Celebration, which will be hosted by HRH The Prince Philip, founder of the Alliance of Religions and Conservation. This gathering of nearly 200 faith and secular leaders comes a month before the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit in December and is:

The first major, internationally-coordinated commitment by the religions to the environment and aims to shape the behaviour and attitudes of the faithful for generations to come.

Supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and major secular bodies, including the World Bank, Conservation International, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), Fairtrade, WWF, the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and the Soil Association. They will be at the Celebration to commit to working with the faiths on the environment.

Called a Celebration because despite the gloom surrounding the environmental challenge ahead, these initiatives show that there is much to hope for and be positive about.


The Celebration has been organised by the UK-based international body, the Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC) in conjunction with the UNDP. UN Assistant Secretary-General Olav Kj�rven has described it as: �the biggest civil society movement on climate change in history�, and: �the biggest mobilisation of people and communities that we have ever seen on this issue�.

The religious leaders coming to the Celebration are the decision-makers and implementers in the faiths, rather than simply the speech makers and figureheads; this is about practical action to be implemented now.

They include: leading Saudi Arabian scholar Dr Solman Al-Ouda; Rev Canon Sally Bingham, president of Interfaith Power and Light Campaign in the US; Rt Rev and Rt Hon Dr Richard Chartres, Bishop of London; Sheikh Ali Goma�a, Grand Mufti of Egypt; Rev Fletcher Harper, Executive Director of the US�s Green Faith; Archbishop Hilarion of the Russian Orthodox Patriarchate; Master Huang Xinyang, Vice President of the China Daoist Association; Rev Dr Samuel Kobia, General Secretary of the World Council of Churches; His Eminence Seraphim Kykkotis, Archbishop of Johannesburg and Pretoria of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa; Rabbi Michael Melchior, leader of the new Green Movement-Meimad party in the Israeli Knesset; Archbishop Valentine Mokiwa, President of the All Africa Conference of Churches; Rt Rev Nyansako-ni-Nku, Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon; Shaunika Risi Das, Director of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies; Rt Rev Thomas Samuel, Bishop of Madhya Kerala, Church of South India; Rabbi Zalman Schachter Shalomi; Rabbi Yedidya Sinclair, co-founder of the Jewish Climate Change Initiative in Israel; Dr Rajwant Singh, Chairman of the Inter Sikh Council on Religion and Education; two Sikh environmentalists Baba Sewa Singh of Khadoor Sahib and Baba Balbir Singh Seechewal from Sultanpur, Punjab, Venerable Hiek Sopheap, Executive Director of the Cambodia-based Association of Buddhists for the Environment; Bishop Walter Thomas of the US-based New Psalmist Baptist Church; and Abbot Yang Shihua of Maoshan Daoist Temple, China.

Dr. Rajwant Singh, EcoSikh convener and Chairman of SCORE, said, \"this is a great opportunity for Sikhs to demonstrate to the world that we feel deeply for the future of Mother Earth and that is the continuation of the compassionate stand taken by our founder, Guru Nanak.\"

SCORE has arranged the Sikh delegation to attend this summit with UN leaders. It has also organized the Kirtan performance on November 3, 2009 at Windsor celebration in which Navleen Kaur from London and Sehejneet Kaur from Washington will participate. They will be accompanied by Tanpura, Tabla, and Harmonium players.

Prabhjot Singh


Anti-Sikh riots: Court allows examination of Tytler CD

New Delhi, Oct 31 (IANS) A city court Saturday allowed the counsel of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots victims to examine the CD in which Congress leader Jagdish Tytler has been shown standing next to the body of former prime minister Indira Gandhi.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Rakesh Pandit asked the counsel for the victims� association to examine the eight CDs in the court Nov 16.

Said H.S. Phulka, counsel of the victim�s association: �The day and the time was not mentioned in all the CDs.�

�The persons who were seen in the CD like R.K. Dhawan (Indira Gandhi�s secretary), Amitabh Bachchan (Bollywood star and close friend of the family) and some other senior political leaders were not examined by the investigation officer in the case. The entire CD looks fishy,� Phulka told IANS.

In the morning, the 18-minute CD was shown in the chamber of the judge in the presence of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) officials, Phulka and his team of lawyers.

The court has now fixed the next hearing for further arguments Dec 1.

The CBI had, in the last hearing, said the witnesses, who deposed about the alleged role of Tytler in the anti-Sikh riots, were �not reliable�.

But recently another witness Jasbir Singh had said that Tytler, along with others, was involved in the attack at Gurdwara Pul Bangash in north Delhi and killed Thakur Singh and Badal Singh.

The probe agency will Saturday continue its argument on the version given by Jasbir Singh.

The CBI had last month during the hearing also placed before the court audiovisual evidence showing that Tytler was near the body of assassinated prime minister Indira Gandhi at the time the murders of Thakur Singh and Badal Singh are alleged to have taken place.

Over 3,000 Sikhs were killed in the riots in various cities following the assassination of Indira Gandhi Oct 31, 1984.

Read more:

Prabhjot Singh Joshpunjabi

Anti-Sikh riots: Court allows examination of Tytler CD

New Delhi, Oct 31 (IANS) A city court Saturday allowed the counsel of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots victims to examine the CD in which Congress leader Jagdish Tytler has been shown standing next to the body of former prime minister Indira Gandhi.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Rakesh Pandit asked the counsel for the victims� association to examine the eight CDs in the court Nov 16.

Said H.S. Phulka, counsel of the victim�s association: �The day and the time was not mentioned in all the CDs.�

�The persons who were seen in the CD like R.K. Dhawan (Indira Gandhi�s secretary), Amitabh Bachchan (Bollywood star and close friend of the family) and some other senior political leaders were not examined by the investigation officer in the case. The entire CD looks fishy,� Phulka told IANS.

In the morning, the 18-minute CD was shown in the chamber of the judge in the presence of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) officials, Phulka and his team of lawyers.

The court has now fixed the next hearing for further arguments Dec 1.

The CBI had, in the last hearing, said the witnesses, who deposed about the alleged role of Tytler in the anti-Sikh riots, were �not reliable�.

But recently another witness Jasbir Singh had said that Tytler, along with others, was involved in the attack at Gurdwara Pul Bangash in north Delhi and killed Thakur Singh and Badal Singh.

The probe agency will Saturday continue its argument on the version given by Jasbir Singh.

The CBI had last month during the hearing also placed before the court audiovisual evidence showing that Tytler was near the body of assassinated prime minister Indira Gandhi at the time the murders of Thakur Singh and Badal Singh are alleged to have taken place.

Over 3,000 Sikhs were killed in the riots in various cities following the assassination of Indira Gandhi Oct 31, 1984.

Prabhjot Singh Joshpunjabi

1500 Sikh devotees crossed over to Pakistan

ATTARI(AMRITSAR) : Amidst severe tension throughout the Pakistan, more than 1500 Sikh devotees went to Pakistan through Samjhauta Express train from the international Attari Railway Station here on Saturday.

The visit of Sikh pilgrims to Pakistan was arranged by the Sikh religious body SGPC (Shriomani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee) Amritsar.

According to SGPC, Sikh devotees went to Pakistan to observe the Birth Anniversary of founder of Sikh religion Guru Nanak Dev at Nankana Sahib in Pakistan on November 2.

Earlier two day back, on October 29, more than 200 Sikh devotees had gone to Pakistan, were sponsored by different Sikh organizations including Bhai Mardana Yadgari Trust and Guru Nanak Dev Welfare Trust.

No justice for India\'s Sikhs

Twenty five years ago, on the morning of 1 November 1984, I woke up in London to get ready for school. My parents, of Indian Sikh origin, sat staring at the television screen. Nobody told us to brush our teeth, or to stop messing around with our Ready Brek. Shocked phone calls replaced our daily routine. The massacre of 4,000 innocent Sikhs in Delhi, and beyond, had begun. Much of the world\'s media has allowed the Indian government to portray what happened as an \"explosion of grief\" in response to Indira Gandhi\'s assassination by her two Sikh bodyguards following her orders on Operation Bluestar. The truth, however, is far more chilling.

The 10 days that followed Gandhi\'s assassination are documented extensively in eyewitness testimony. Unsubstantiated rumours began to spread on the night of 31 October that Sikhs were celebrating Gandhi\'s murder. By early the following morning, gangs of young men were setting alight parts of south Delhi that today are among the most elite residential neighbourhoods of the city. In Delhi, in Kanpur and in Calcutta, the police and political forces stood by while the fury of part of the population was unleashed in burnings, killings and horror. Women were gang-raped � a tactic later employed in Gujarat � and gurdwaras, homes and Sikh businesses were destroyed. There is evidence that Delhi\'s public buses were used to transport the gangs from neighbourhood to neighbourhood. The army was not called on to the streets on the morning of 1 November. No curfew was imposed until most of the damage was done. No credible explanation for this has ever been provided.

Two and a half decades later, the language used to describe that night remains as blurry as ever. Was it a genocide? Who drew up lists of identification? Why did the police disappear or intervene to protect the mobs rather than the victims? Did Rajiv Gandhi, the incumbent prime minister, encourage the murders through his statements on the radio? Did members of Congress incite the killings? Why did ministers fail to act when they had been warned by the army that a \"holocaust\" might be unleashed that very night? Who kept the army at bay? In short, was this state-sponsored violence of the order that led to another decade of brutality in which some 10,000 Punjabi Sikhs, mostly men, were \"disappeared\" by the state?

India is right to trumpet its many achievements over the last decade. They are well documented. But the country\'s progress is littered with reminders of a dangerous past which its own government has planted and then tried to bury. Unfortunately, the secular credentials of prime minister Manmohan Singh\'s Congress government are not all that they appear to be.

The Nanavati Commission was set up in 2000 to investigate the events with broad terms of reference. Four years later it reported back that the state had been involved. Politicians were implicated heavily, but no action taken against them. International organisations have heavily criticised the state\'s actions and the impunity with which the police have proceeded in Punjab and Delhi over this period, and the subsequent episode of so-called counter-insurgency operations in Punjab. In 2007, India\'s CBI finally announced that it was closing the case on 1984 for lack of evidence, in spite of extensive eyewitness testimony both to the violence, as well as to the involvement of police and politicians. In the 1994 report Dead Silence: Legacy of Abuses in Punjab, Human Rights Watch Asia and Physicians for Human Rights described the government operations in Punjab during the 1980s as \"the most extreme example of a policy in which the end appeared to justify any and all means, including torture and murder\". Still the Congress government of India stays quiet. Indeed, Manmohan Singh even described the torture, killings and disappearances as \"aberrations\" in the fight against terrorism.

Insaaf means justice in many Indian languages. No justice has been done for India\'s Sikhs, who represent just 2% of the population but whose culture, language and music now form the background to hit after Bollywood hit.

The Indian government, even with a Sikh at its head, has studiously refused to contemplate the truth of what has happened. For many of India\'s political and social elite, it is more convenient to forget than to confront. Why dredge up memories that are painful, and which threaten a peaceful coexistence between ethnic and religious communities, they say. The danger in that path is that what has happened before can happen again. It happened in Godhra in Gujarat in 1992, and still Narendra Modi � who is said to be the chief architect of that genocide against the Gujarati Muslim population � retains power.

International law and principles demand that states conduct effective investigations and hold perpetrators accountable. In country after country where a population has brutalised its minority, and in the case of South Africa its majority, there has needed to be an open reconciliation with the truth. It can take the form of truth commissions, like those in South Africa or in Salvador or Guatemala, or it can take the form of court actions like in Rwanda, Argentina and Chile, where the most powerful members of society, including army generals or even Pinochet himself, have been successfully prosecuted for their pivotal role in the disappearances of so many thousands of men.

It is not enough that the Delhi courts very recently convicted local small fry for their complicity in murder and criticised the Indian police for their role in the 1984 killings. The Indian government needs both to bring accountability and to be accountable in order to ensure that the architects and orchestrators are not allowed to get away with their actions .

Last week, Human Rights Watch urged India, as the world\'s largest democracy, to take a global role in influencing Burma, Sri Lanka and Nepal. But until the truth of the extent of state-sponsored murder on ethnic lines, both in the 1984 pogroms and the subsequent disappearances that ripped through Punjab\'s male population, is revealed, the country\'s reputation will remain besmirched.

Schona Jolly

\'Father didn\'t kill Indira Gandhi to make Sikhs happy\' (25 years after Indira Gandhi\'s

Twenty-five years after Beant Singh emptied his revolver into then prime minister Indira Gandhi, the assassin\'s son says his father didn\'t do it to appease anyone in the Sikh community but wanted to personally avenge the army\'s Operation Bluestar.

\'My father had killed Indira Gandhi neither at the behest of any organisation nor to make any Sikh \'jathebandi\' (group) happy. This extreme step was the outcome of intense feelings that carried away my father, and under the circumstances we all respect his feelings,\' Sarabjeet Singh Khalsa, the 30-year-old son of Beant Singh, told IANS in an exclusive interview.

Sarabjeet was all of five years old when on Oct 31, 1984, his father and Satwant Singh - both Sikh bodyguards of Indira Gandhi - killed one of the most powerful prime ministers this country has seen.

Sarabjeet added: \'Papaji and his colleague Satwant Singh had gone to Harmandar Sahib to pay obeisance after the Blue Star incident. On learning the exact motive of the attack, the way in which it was actually executed and on seeing the devastation of the place and plight of Sikhs, both of them decided to assassinate Indira Gandhi on their own.\'

Beant Singh, who put down his weapon after committing the crime and was nabbed by other security personnel, was killed just minutes later after he tried to \'escape\' from custody. Satwant Singh faced the gallows in 1989 after a trial.

While Beant, who was in his late 20s at that time, belonged to Maloya village in Chandigarh, young Satwant hailed from Agwan village in the then terrorist-infested border belt of Dera Baba Nanak near Amritsar in Punjab.

The families of both assassins were feted by radical Sikh organisations after the incident and Beant Singh\'s wife, Bimal Kaur Khalsa, was even elected to the Lok Sabha from the Ropar parliamentary constituency. She died a few years later.

Sarabjeet, who has unsuccessfully tried to get elected to the Lok Sabha, is now engaged in the real estate business. He lives with his wife and son and operates from Mohali town, adjoining state capital Chandigarh.

\'Papaji had done it without any expectation from anywhere, so there was no question of help or support from any one. If we talk about justice for the 1984 Sikh massacre, then it was the duty of our Sikh leaders to make sure that justice was done, but unfortunately nothing substantial happened,\' Sarabjeet said.

\'I have plans to actively join politics but right now I have taken a break from it for some time as at present I am trying to establish my real estate business in Punjab and very soon I will make a comeback,\' said Sarabjeet.

\'Sometimes I feel very sad that my father sacrificed his life for the sake of a whole community, but now we have again gone wayward. The Akali Dal, which plays a very dominant role in Punjab and in the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), does not care for our rights and well-being.

\'We know that we cannot expect anything from the Congress government, but unfortunately, the Parkash Singh Badal-led Akali government is also not doing anything for the 1984 anti-Sikh riot victims. They play petty politics and only try to extract political mileage out of that incident.\'

Indira Gandhi\'s assassination was the direct consequence of Operation Bluestar, which was done in June 1984 by the Indian Army on her directions. Military officials attacked Harmandar Sahib, popularly known as the Golden Temple in Amritsar, where militants were hiding with heavy ammunition.

According to figures of the Indian Army, Operation Bluestar left nearly 600 people, including army personnel, militants and civilians dead. However, many believe the correct figure of the killings is in thousands.

About the attack on Harmandar Sahib, Sarabjeet firmly believes: \'It was entirely a wrong decision by Indira Gandhi to order an attack on Harmandar Sahib, our holiest shrine. It was an unpardonable crime and no true Sikh can tolerate it even in his nightmare.\'

The Amritsar-based Akal Takht - highest temporal seat of Sikhism - had declared Beant Singh and Satwant Singh as martyrs of Sikhism in 2008.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

What is Visual Merchandising

Visual merchandising-, until recently called simply merchandising, is the activity of promoting the sale of goods, especially by their presentation in retail outlets.(New Oxford Dictionary of English, 1999, Oxford University Press). This includes combining product, environment, and space into a stimulating and engaging display to encourage the sale of a product or service. It has become an important element in retailing that is a team effort involving senior management, architects, merchandising managers, buyers, the visual merchandising director, designers, and staff. Visual merchandising starts with the store building itself. The management decides on the store design to reflect the products the store is going to sell and how to create a warm, friendly, and approachable atmosphere for its potential customers.

Many elements can be used by visual merchandisers in creating displays, including colour, lighting, space, product information, sensory inputs such as smell, touch, and sound as well as technologies such as digital displays and interactive installations.

Visual merchandising is not a science; there are no absolute rules. It is more like an art in the sense that there are implicit rules but that these also exist to be broken for striking effects. The main principle of visual merchandising is that it is intended to increase sales, which is not the case with a \"real\" art.

Visual merchandising is one of the final stages in trying to set out a store in a way that customers will find attractive and appealing and it should follow and reflect the principles that underpin the store�s image. Visual merchandising is the way one displays \'goods for sale\' in the most attractive manner with the end purpose of making a sale. \"If it does not sell, it is not visual merchandising.\"

Especially in today�s challenging economy, people may avoid designers/ visual merchandisers because they fear unmanageable costs. But in reality, visual merchandisers can help economise by avoiding costly mistakes. With guidance of a professional, retailer can eliminate errors, saving time and money. It is important to understand that the visual merchandiser is there, not to impose ideas, but to help clients articulate their own personal style.

Visual merchandising is the art of implementing effective design ideas to increase store traffic and sales volume. VM is an art and science of displaying merchandise to enable maximum sale. VM is a tool to achieve sales and targets, a tool to enhance merchandise on the floor, and a mechanism to communicate to a customer and influence his decision to buy. VM uses season based displays to introduce new arrivals to customers, and thus increase conversions through a planned and systematic approach by displaying stocks available.

Recently visual merchandising has gained in importance as a quick and cost effective way to revamp retail stores.

A close sister to visual merchandising is \"retail experience\". \"Customer experience\" looks at the same issues around product presentation but from the customer perspective, rather than the retailer perspective. In optimal retail environments such as the Apple Retail Stores, the visual merchandising, customer experience, and store design are all in synch creating amazing environments and unbelievable sales.


Retail professionals display to make the shopping experience more comfortable, convenient and customer friendly by:

* Making it easier for the shopper to locate the desired category and merchandise.

* Making it easier for the shopper to self-select.

* Making it possible for the shopper to co-ordinate & accessorize.

* Providing information on sizes, colours & prices.

* Informing about the latest fashion trends by highlighting them at strategic locations.

Merchandise presentation refers to most basic ways of presenting merchandise in an orderly, understandable, �easy to shop� and �find the product� format. This easier format is especially implemented in fast fashion retailers

VM helps in:

* educating the customers about the product/service in an effective and creative way.

* establishing a creative medium to present merchandise in 3D environment, thereby enabling long lasting impact and recall value.

* setting the company apart in an exclusive position.

* establishing linkage between fashion, product design and marketing by keeping the product in prime focus.

* combining the creative, technical and operational aspects of a product and the business.

drawing the attention of the customer to enable him to take purchase decision within shortest possible time, and thus augmenting the selling process.

[edit] History

Every shopkeeper and merchant\'s primary objective is to sell merchandise. When the giant nineteenth century dry goods establishments like Marshall Field & Co. shifted their business from wholesale to retail the visual display of goods became necessary to attract the retail customer. The store windows no longer simply allowed natural light to shine in the building or act as storage space for stock; they became important venues to attractively display the store\'s merchandise. Gradually, the design aesthetic used in window displays moved indoors and became part of the overall interior store design, eventually displacing the importance windows altogether in suburban malls.

Museums and department stores in America have a shared history of displaying their products, both having come of age in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. Like world\'s fairs, department stores and museums crowded everything together on shelves or in display cases. Today displays in museums are referred to as exhibitions, while displays in stores are referred to as \"Visual Merchandising. Essentially, visual merchandising is the selling of a store\'s goods through visual means, incorporating advertising, and window displays, and interior sales floor design and display. Throughout the twentieth century, well-known artists such as Salvador Dal� and Andy Warhol created window displays, while other artists who are lesser known were commissioned to design unique objects specifically for visual merchandising purposes.

1. Sell by showing and promoting. 2. Create an emotional connect beween the viewer and the display. 3. Encourage the shopper to enter the store. 4. Get the customer to pause and �shop� the selling floor. 5. Establish, promote, and enhance the store�s visual image. 6. Entertain customers and enhance their shopping experience. 7. Introduce and explain new products.

[edit] Variances

[edit] Planogram

A Planogram allows planning of the arrangement of merchandise on a given fixture configuration to support sales through proper placement of merchandise by Style, Option, Size, Price points, etc. It also enables the chain of chairs to have the same merchandise displayed in a coherent and similar manner across all the stores.

The main purpose is to support ease of applicability to the merchandiser while also increasing selection & enhancing the merchandise display in a neat and organized manner.

[edit] Window Displays

A window display is also a \"visiting card\" for the store. Windows are the most important factor within the store/shop front as they can communicate style, content, and price point. They can be seductive and exciting, based on emotional stimulus, or price-based (when they clearly emphasize value for money with easy and obvious ticketing). For the retailer, the window is among the most controllable elements in relation to image and to what is happening inside the store, and there are number of decisions to be made about a how these effects are achieved.

The best store windows can generate great excitement and talking point for an entire city. They contribute to the environment by entertaining pedestrians, while simultaneously communicating the products and services on offer.

For a retailer willing to exploit the full potential that a window gives, the image-building process can be exciting and have enormous potential. A fashion retailer, for instance, will often change a window weekly to show the latest items on offer. A glance into a shop\'s window by a passerby establishes the time of the year and, very likely, a timely contemporary event. It might combine seasonal and festive points of the year such as Back-to-school, Spring, Summer, Easter, Christmas, New Year approaching, Diwali, Valentine\'s Day, Mother\'s Day etc. At other times the propping may be based on color schemes, materials or cultural themes - the possibilities for innovative ideas around such themes are endless.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Sikhs permitted to wear ceremonial daggers to Olympic events

VANCOUVER � Sikhs will be permitted to wear ceremonial daggers less than 7.5 inches in length to Vancouver 2010 Winter Games venues, the RCMP�s Vancouver 2010 Integrated Security Unit announced Thursday.

The dagger, called a kirpan, is one of the articles of faith that all observant Sikhs must wear.

To be admitted to Olympic venues, Sikhs wearing the kirpan must notify security personnel before being screened for admittance. The blade may be no longer than four inches and must be worn beneath the clothing, secured in a sheath.

The kirpan must be worn with all five Sikh articles of faith, including uncut hair, a wooden comb to secure the hair often worn in combination with a turban, an iron bracelet and a cotton singlet.

�These rules are consistent with the normal practices of Sikhs,� said Palbinder Shergill, legal counsel for the World Sikh Organization. �It�s a very positive step towards ensuring that Vanoc�s security needs are protected, but also ensuring that we accommodate the needs of different minorities.�

The RCMP sought advice about creating rules for wearing kirpans from the Sikh community through its community relations group, which includes members of many of the city�s religious and ethnic groups, the B.C. Multi-Faith Action Society and the World Sikh Organization.

The consultation took several months, according to Shergill.

Research conducted by the RCMP�s Olympic security unit suggested that violence involving kirpans is extremely rare and that allowing them into venues will not incur additional risk.

�The new guidelines provide reasonable accommodation for religious freedoms as defined by Canadian laws and values, while clearly identifying the conditions under which the kirpan may be worn,� according to a statement from the Olympic security unit.

The Supreme Court of Canada in 2006 paved the way for kirpans to be allowed in all public places. The court ruled unanimously in favour of a 17-year-old Montreal high-school student who was forced to leave the public school system after the local school board banned him from wearing the dagger as an article of faith, claiming it was a potentially dangerous weapon.

The court noted that in 100 years that Sikhs had been wearing kirpans in school, not a single incidence of violence had ever been recorded and that it was likely less dangerous than a pair of scissors or a baseball bat, both commonly found in schools.

�The law is what it is,� said Shergill. �What�s important is that this decision is consistent with the values that we all share as Canadians.�

Hockey’s Sikh Legend: Balbir Singh, Senior

Balbir Singh Senior is today Indian hockey�s most successful living legend. Well into his eighties, standing six feet tall, a fully practicing Sikh Balbir Singh Senior still looks very impressive. His looks defy his age. In his eighties, when most of the people slowdown considerably, he leads an active life. He lives roughly for six months in Metropolitan Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and for six months, he stays in India mostly in Punjab. He leads an active retired man�s life, but touch wood, he is in good health. His grasp over several big and small issues is commendable and his memory is still excellent. His analysis of the present day plight of Indian hockey is very thought provoking. Most of the people in India believe that Major Dhyan Chand has been India�s most brilliant hockey player ever, but he was the product of nineteen twenties, when Olympic competition was not very much tough. But Balbir Singh is the product of Post World War II Olympics, when the Europeans started building up their sports and youth programs in right earnest and the Pakistanis started taking hockey very seriously. Thus India was made to struggle really hard to win an Olympic Gold Medal.

In the last week of September 2007, this writer was on a social trip to Vancouver British Columbia, Canada. At one dinner gathering myself and Sardar Balbir Singh Senior were both present. I wanted to have a feel as to how he felt about the rise and fall of men�s hockey in India. This chance meeting provided ample opportunity to talk to him about the once glorious days of Indian hockey and the bad times through which Indian hockey is passing at the present juncture. He is an eye-witness to the steady ascendancy and free-fall of hockey in India.

When he was selected for the first time as a member of the London bound Indian Olympic Hockey Contingent in 1948, India was on the top of the pyramid of the World�s hockey playing nations. Had the World War Second not been on, he could have been considered to represent India even in 1944 as the youngest teenage player of the team. According to him he was brimming with energy in 1947-1948. India won the Olympic Hockey Gold Medal in 1948 rather easily. It was an extremely thrilling and exhilarating experience, the whole World seemed at India�s feet and aspiring to catch up with the wizards of hockey. In 1948, the Sikhs of Punjab were in the vanguard of Indian Olympic Hockey Contingent. I was told earlier on by Tarlochan Singh Bawa, another member of the 1948 Indian Olympic Hockey team that during those days the Sikh players used to be all �Saabat Soorat Sikhs�. They were tall, broad shouldered and swift as lightening.

The competition during the 1952 Helsinki Olympics was much tougher, but India had the momentum and it prevailed despite all odds. The heat was really turned on against India during the Melbourne Olympics in 1956. Balbir Singh Senior was the captain of the Indian squad. The league matches were completely one sided in favour of India with a couple of dozen plus goal wins against the U.S.A. and the Soviet Union, but the matches against West Germany and Pakistan were very tough. India could barely manage to win both these matches by identical one goal margins. The victory in the final against Pakistan was very exhilarating. A victory is after all a victory, even with a razor thin margin and it was elating.

Balbir Singh thinks that India�s loss at the hands of Pakistan in the final of 1960 Rome Olympics was a very tough loss to digest, not only for him personally but for the entire Punjab and India. A three decade plus old all conquering record was shattered in just one bad moment in the game. The final match was by all indicators an evenly played encounter, but the luckier and the more opportune team won. India�s team was in no way inferior to Pakistan�s in any department of the game. The game was fiercely contested, we had better of the exchanges, but the luck eventually smiled on Pakistan. According to Balbir Singh, India took the sweet revenge during the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, when in an evenly played game India took the Gold medal by capitalizing on a well earned penalty stroke.

India�s real downfall started after the 1966 Asian Games. India defeated Pakistan for the Asian Games Hockey Gold Medal in 1966 by a solitary goal margin in Bangkok Asiad. Balbir Singh Senior had not represented India in the 1960 and 1964 Olympics as well as the 1966 Asian Games, but as an enthusiast of hockey he was all along keeping track of the performance of the Indian Hockey Team. Balbir Singh thinks that no single reason can be assigned for the down fall of Indian hockey. India�s downslide in hockey is due to accumulation of a number of factors, which can be discussed one by one. As a true sportsman, Balbir Singh still hopes for a bright future of hockey in India, but the nation and Punjab shall have to work extremely hard for that goal to be attained. The field is getting more and more crowded and the competition is getting tougher and tougher.

Balbir Singh analyses that Indian youth�s lack of physical fitness, in comparison with the rich Western European nations as well as India�s poor nourishment diet compared to Pakistan and Korea, is a serious handicap for the Indian hockey players. When we used to win, physical fitness levels of the other hockey playing nations were not too much superior to ours. The Indian were almost at par with the Europeans in height, speed, strength and stamina and we had an edge in the art of dribbling and clever play. Brilliant dribbling got us the goals and in plenty. Dribbling abilities are still with us, but physical strength needed after entering the scoring area and the stamina to stay in the game till the final whistle are lacking in us, We lose most of the matches after having complete upper hand during the first half, but our stamina lets us badly down in the second half as well as during the dying minutes of the game. According to Balbir, we need to work on this weakness. He thinks that we may have not weakened, the others have improved.

Balbir Singh thinks that the introduction of expensive astroturfs has hit India very badly. Nice and thick slow growing grass is India�s advantage. We were always great on grass, which is easy to grow and cheaper to maintain in India. But the Europeans countries introduced synthetic turf, which, being an imported item is expensive to lay in India. We have far fewer synthetic turfs in India compared to any European nation. Synthetic turf requires very strong calf muscles and strong bicep muscles. Since our players train on grass, they do not develop very strong muscles like the Europeans do. This weakness lets us down in tournament after tournament. India�s umpiring in the domestic tournaments is heavily weighed in favour of soft players. Indian umpiring does not accept brute aggression in the forward line and in the defenders. The Europeans are hard tacklers in defence and ruthless in the scoring areas. Even most stylish players like Dhanraj Pillai are ineffective in the scoring areas. We need to work on this weakness.

According to Balbir, Jugraj�s injury, prior to the 2000 Sydney Olympics proved too costly for India. He was a unique three in one player. He used to be not only an ace drag-flicker, he was a very aggressive and accurate defender and his stubborn defense against opposing team�s penalty corner shots was the best India has seen in years. He reminded me of Late Surjit Singh Randhawa. Jugraj was India�s pivotal player. He used to feed the ball directly to the forwards like a seasoned half back, at occasions when the half backs did not click. If he ever regains his form and the IHF accepts him, he can still be an asset for India.

Balbir says that India desperately needs more astroturfs and at locations where physically fit youths are naturally growing, where diet is good and weather is conducive for good breeding of youth. The girls sports wing in village Kairon deserves an Astroturf. The boys in Khadoor Sahib deserve an Astroturf. Moga, Ferozepore and Batala deserve astroturfs. Jalandhar deserves at least three astroturfs and Amritsar can have one more. We have great coaches, but they should be allowed to have some years to develop a good fighting team. Frequent hiring and firing of coaches, as was repeatedly done by K.P.S. Gill and Jyoti Kumaran lead Indian Hockey Federation, is always going to be counterproductive for Indian Hockey. The coach needs some time to settle down and know his job.

Balbir Singh is happy in knowing that the tribal kids in Jharkhand and Orissa are starting young and doing very well in hockey. But he thinks that their enthusiasm must be supported with high growth and muscle building natural diets, otherwise they in longer run will suffer from burnouts and lack of speed and stamina. Balbir Singh also feels that the youth of Punjab can always do a better job in hockey.

Balbir Singh sadly pointed out that the real power in Indian Hockey Federation was wielded by crafty Jyoti Kumarran, the then Secretary General of the Indian Hockey Federation. Kumarran had the votes to get any one elected president of the Indian Hockey Federation and rightly or wrongly he has been calling the shots. He has taken the state of the art infrastructure for hockey to places, which were never known for excellence in hockey. The former national and international level players in who�s veins hockey flows like blood are crying for better facilities and conducive atmosphere for the game. If India has to find its rightful place in hockey, she will have to rise above petty regionalism practiced by Jyoti Kumaran.

Balbir is not opposed to the Premier Hockey League in India, it brings in a lot of corporate money. But he thinks that the foreign players do not help in making a truly Indian team. The Indian team must come from within, for that purpose the national level tournaments must serve as the hunting ground for talented hockey players. The foreign players, due to their brilliant performance, may end up giving edge to an undeserving team and that gives false results. This is exactly what is happening in India today. The foreign players are scoring goals and undeserving Indian teams are winning. The press and the public are watching helplessly.

The Government of India, of course, is not authorized to interfere directly in the administration of hockey, but they give a lot of money for the development of the game, they can at the least give directives to the bosses of hockey. The government should not interfere if Indian hockey is doing great. But when things are seriously going in the wrong direction, such directives can act as a deterrent against wrong policies of the bosses of hockey. Balbir Singh thinks that although the cost of laying an Astroturf exceeds four crores of rupees, but if a few non resident Punjabis can agree to pool their resources, they can contribute a major chunk of the money needed for installing an Astroturf in their villages and towns.

Here I am adding my own bit to the two year old interview with the great hockey legend. We the non resident Sikhs have a lot of resources, if we act collectively. For example the non-resident Sikhs of Bholath, Tanda and Dasuya Tehsils are loaded with money. They can pool their resources and build excellent astroturfs at Begowal, Gilgian, Bholath, Nadala, Tanda, Miani or Dasuya. There is a strong presence of Moga based Punjabis in Canada, they can pool their resources to build Astroturf hockey stadiums at places like Moga, Baghapurana or Dhudike.

Harjap Singh Aujla is an environmental cum water resources engineer (dams and flood plain management) with three decades of American experience and a dozen years of Indian (Punjab) experience.

With Thanks from : worldsikhnews

Punjabi village in US all set for annual Sikh parade

Yuba City (California): Yuba City, known as the first Punjabi village in the US, is all set for the annual Sikh Parade next week.

Home to the descendants of the earliest Indian immigrants to the US, Yuba City, near the California capital of Sacramento, is famous for its annual Sikh Parade. Over 75,000 Sikhs from around the world are expected to attend the 30th anniversary of the parade next week.

The parade is organized to mark the day of the installation of the Sikh scripture of the Guru Granth. The festivities will begin Friday (Oct 30) with the start of the non-stop recitation of the holy book at the city\'s main Sikh Temple in the morning. The evening will end with a spectacular display of fireworks to be attended by main leaders of the city.

\"It is the Sikh way of saying thank-you to the local community,\'\' said Balraj Singh Dhillon, president of the Sikh Temple.

The next day, the Sikh community will hold an \'Open House\' with elected officials, dignitaries and ordinary citizens.

\"We will present Cultural Safari, is a 17-minute video, to educate leaders, school children, teachers and administrators about what it means to be a Sikh American,\'\' said city surgeon Jasbir Singh Kang.

Sikh scholar I.J. Singh, who has written many books on Sikhism from a western perspective, will also enlighten the audience about the Sikh religion.

Upon the completion of its non-stop reading (or akhand path), the holy Granth will be installed on a lavishly decorated float and take through the streets of Yuba City.

Thousands are expected to follow the holy book in a procession.

The organizers said 50 floats depicting Sikh history and culture will be part of the parade, expected to extend up to four and a half miles.

To mark the 30th anniversary of the parade, the Sikh community has decided to launch a \"massive\'\' food drive to collect food items for the poor and needy.

\"As part of our food drive, 250,000 meals will be prepared and distributed to the needy to show our tradition of caring and sharing,\'\' said Kang.

US allows Sikh security officers to wear turban and beard

By Arun Kumar

Washington, Oct 21 (IANS) In what is seen as a landmark civil rights victory for the Sikh community, the US government has allowed Sikhs to serve as federal security officers while keeping their turbans and beards.

The reversal of a ban comes after a discrimination case filed by a Sikh security officer who was told that he could not keep his turban and beard on the job, Sikh Coalition, a community advocacy group said Tuesday.

The lawsuit settlement and change in policy are a major civil rights victory for the Sikh community. It marks the first time that a federal law enforcement agency has changed policy to accommodate the Sikh articles of faith, it said.

The lawsuit that led to the settlement was brought jointly by the Sikh Coalition, Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area on a complaint from Raghbir Singh, who goes by the name of �Major Gill�.

Major Gill, who served in the Indian Army for almost 34 years, immigrated with his family to the US in 2004 and obtained a position with a company called NCLN20 in 2005 and began serving on its government contract with the Federal Protective Service (FPS)for guarding a federal building in Fresno.

However, FPS�s uniform and grooming policies prohibited Major Gill from wearing a turban or keeping a beard on the job. Under these policies, contract security officers had to wear a uniform hat and be clean-shaven.

Major Gill requested that the government accommodate his Sikh articles of faith. However, FPS refused and forced him off the contract. Because NCLN20 had no other security officer positions, the company fired him.

Major Gill reached out to the Sikh Coalition for help in Nov 2005. Through his case, the Coalition said it was able to push FPS to change its uniform and grooming policies to accommodate Sikh articles of faith.

As a result, Sikhs can now serve as contract security guards with the federal government with unshorn hair, beards, turbans, and kirpans intact.

�Holding the federal government accountable for discriminating against Sikhs sends a strong message to private employers. If the government includes Sikh Americans in its workforce, then other employers are encouraged to do the same,� said Harsimran Kaur, Legal Director at the Sikh Coalition.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at

Sikh organizations decided to observe band to mark 25th anniversary of Sikh Genocide 1984.

Amritsar (24 October, 2009): Various Sikh organizations like Dal Khalsa, Khalsa Action Committee, Sikh Youth of Punjab and Sikh Youth Federation has issued an appeal to people of Punjab especially the Sikhs to observe Punjab Bandh on 3rd November 2009 to mark 25th anniversary of 1984 Sikh Genocide. �About ten thousand Sikhs were massacred by Hindus with active support of Indian State, its� Police force and other agencies after assassination of Indra Gandhi.� informed Sikh leaders. �25 hears have passed and there is no justice for victims of this brutal carnage� they added.

�The objective of the shutdown call is to express anguish against� the riots and �expose� the �denial of justice� to the victims besides paying homage to those killed, Harcharnjit Singh Dhami (Dal Khalsa) and Mihkam Singh (KAC) informed SikhSiyasat Network.

These Sikh Organizations announced 3rd November as a complete shutdown day in state to mark the 25th anniversary of 1984 Sikh Genocide. They informed that only essential and emergency services comprising medical services, fire services, etc will be allowed to remain open for public in Punjab.

On the other hand various Sikh organizations or Europe shall hold a protest demonstration in from of UN office to register their protest against denial of justice to victims of Sikh genocide even after 25 years.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sikh clergy to scrap Nanakshahi calendar?

Amritsar, October 16

In a move that could kick a storm in the entire Sikh world, the Sikh clergy is likely to give a re-thinking to the widely accepted Nanakshahi calendar even to the extent of its replacement with a new calendar in their bid to put an end to the long-standing dilemma over observance of important Sikh events.

The Nanakshahi calendar is a solar calendar which starts with the birth of the first Sikh Guru Nanak in 1469 and it has been in use in over 90 per cent gurdwaras across the world since 2003, when it was released at the Takht Damdama Sahib on the Baisakhi Day in presence of the then Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti and the then SGPC chief Kirpal Singh Badungar. Vedanti and Badungar, had got the first copies of calendar, which, however, was being opposed by a section of orthodox Sikh sects such as, the Sant Samaj and the Damdami Taksal.

The peculiar feature of the calendar was that since it was based on the length of the tropical solar year and not on the basis of the lunar cycle, the dates of important Sikh events did not fluctuate as was the case with the old lunar-based calendar. As of now, all important Sikh days, except for the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, were being observed in accordance with the Nanakshahi calendar, which, was even recognised by the Punjab and the Central governments.

The fresh and controversial discussion, it was learnt, would be held in an emergency but, secret meeting of the Sikh clergy to be held at the Akal Takht tomorrow. The meeting would be presided over by the Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh and other Sikh high priests Balwant Singh Nandgarh, Jathedar of the Takht Damdama Sahib, Tarlochan Singh, Jathedar of the Takht Kesgarh Sahib, Iqbal Singh,Jathedar of Takht Patna Sahib, and Kulwant Singh, the Jathedar of the Takht Hazoor Sahib or one of his representatives were likely to participate in the meeting which, was likely to end up as a stormy affair as some of Jathedars could put up an opposition to the idea of revocation or change of calendar on the grounds that it was already duly recognised world over and by apex Sikh institutes like the Akal Takht and the SGPC.

�We are going to have a discussion on the calendar issue as we want to put an end to the dilemma prevailing in the Sikh world,� was all what was said by one of the Jathedars when contacted about the agenda of the meeting.

The issue assumed importance and could have certain political overtones in view of the forthcoming elections for the president of the SGPC and the elections to general house of the SGPC to be held during next year. A large section of the Sikh community was of the view that the calendar was important as it re-affirmed the Sikh faith�s separate identity from the Hinduism or the Islam.

It would be a big blunder to replace the calendar and the entire Sikh diaspora would be opposing it, said Dr Pritpal Singh, vice-president of the American Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee

Varinder Singh

Tribune News Service

Canadian Sikh woman\'s death still a mystery

Toronto: Canadian police are still in the dark about the death of a young Sikh woman and three newborns in the city of Calgary more than a week ago.

Twenty-seven-year-old Harsimrat Kahlon and three newborn babies were dead in their apartment Oct 5 when the woman\'s partner called police.

As police await autoposy reports, it is still not clear whether the kids belonged to the woman and her partner (also called common-law husband in the West) Harnek Mahal.

The bodies of the kids were found inside suitcases in highly decomposed state.

Chandigarh-born Kahlon had moved to Canada in 1999. Four years ago, she got estranged from her family and moved out. She had been living with her common-law husband Harnek Mahal since 2006.

The family of the woman had no clues as to whether the kids belonged to Kahlon. Hospital records show that she had given birth to a child in 2005. She was reportedly planning to go to India in November to get married.

Police say her common-law husband is not a suspect in her death but they have suspicions about the death of the three kids.

Since the Sikh woman lived an isolated life estranged from her family, police don\'t rule out that Kahlon was an unwilling mother or suffered from post-partum (after-birth) depression. There have many reports of women suffering from post-partum depression killing their new-borns or committing suicide.

About 15 to 20 per cent women suffer from post-partum depression in the western world where there is little family or social support for women after child birth. A woman can slip into post-partum depression one to three months after birth. But they can afflicted by depression even from 12 to 18 months after delivery.

So did Kahlon kill herself and the babies because of post-partum depression?

There are no answers yet. But the Sikh woman definitely was isolated in her life as she had cut off all links with her family in 2005.

Row over schools shut for

A London council which shuts its schools on Muslim, Sikh and Hindu holy days is rethinking its calendar.

One head teacher told officials conducting a review into the closures she was �frustrated� by the enforced holidays.

Waltham Forest Council in East London closes its state schools on Eid-Ul-Fitr, Diwali and Guru Nanak�s Birthday, which are celebrated by the Muslim, Hindu and Sikh faiths respectively.

Controversy has surrounded the closures as Jewish residents make up more of the population than Sikhs, according to the last census, yet schools are not closed on Jewish holy days.

One in six Waltham Forest residents is Muslim, while Hindus make up only 1.8 per cent of the borough�s population.

Head teachers at two Walthamstow schools, which are in the Waltham Forest borough, criticised the closures.

Lynette Parvez, head of Kelmscott School told officials conducting the review: �For a school such as Kelmscott where the vast majority of pupils are either Christian or Muslim, there is no need to take additional time out for Diwali or Guru Nanak.

�However, the school does promote and celebrate these events allowing the very small number of staff or pupils to have religious absence days if they request.�

Rachel MacFarlane, head of Walthamstow School for Girls, told the review: �We remain frustrated by the requirement on all schools, regardless of the religious profile of the staff and student populations, to close for Hindu, Muslim and Sikh festivals.�

Councillor Liaquat Ali, Waltham Forest Council�s cabinet member for children, accepted the need for a review.

He said: �I am aware of the concerns that have been raised and have asked that a review is carried out to identify exactly what holidays Waltham Forest�s children, parents and teachers feel are most appropriate to celebrate during term time.�

The closures affect all community primary and secondary schools in the borough, but not Church of England or Catholic schools.

One other London council, Newham, which also plans to close its schools this year on Muslim and Hindu holy days, made no comment to newspapers.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਅਤੇ ਦੀਵਾਲੀ

ਪ੍ਰੋ. ਸਰਬਜੀਤ ਸਿੰਘ �ਧੂੰਦਾ�


ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਅਤੇ ਦੀਵਾਲੀ

ਤਿਉਹਾਰ ਕਿਸੇ ਸਮਾਜ ਕੌਮ ਦੇ ਸੱਭਿਆਚਾਰ ਦਾ ਦਰਪਣ ਹੁੰਦੇ ਹਨ। ਕਿਸੇ ਵੀ ਤਿਉਹਾਰ ਜਾਂ

ਰਸਮਾਂ ਦੀ ਘੋਖਣਾ ਕਰਕੇ ਅਸੀ ਕਿਸੇ ਸਮਾਜ ਦੀ ਵਿਰਾਸਤ ਬਾਰੇ ਜਾਣ ਸਕਦੇ ਹਾਂ। ਭਾਰਤ

ਵਿੱਚ ਇਹ ਚਾਰ ਤਿਉਹਾਰ ਮਨਾਏ ਜਾਦੇ ਹਨ ਜਿਵੇਂ ਹੋਲੀ ਲੋਹੜੀ ਦੀਵਾਲੀ ਅਤੇ ਵਿਸਾਖੀ।

ਗੁਰੂ ਨਾਨਕ ਸਾਹਿਬਾਨ ਵੇਲੇ ਹੀ ਵਿਸਾਖੀ ਤੇ ਬਹੁਤ ਭਾਰੀ ਇਕੱਠ ਹੁੰਦਾ ਸੀ ਫਿਰ ਗੁਰੁ

ਅਮਰਦਾਸ ਜੀ ਨੇ ਸਾਲ ਵਿੱਚ ਦੋ ਵਾਰੀ ਇਕੱਠ ਕਰਨ ਲਈ ਦੀਵਾਲੀ ਅਤੇ ਵਿਸਾਖੀ ਦੋਵਾਂ ਤੇ

ਇਕੱਠ ਕਰਨਾ ਸੁਰੂ ਕੀਤਾ। ਅੱਜ ਦੀ ਬੋਲੀ ਵਿੱਚ ਇਸ ਨੂੰ ਸਰਬਤ ਖਾਲਸਾ ਕਰਕੇ ਵੀ ਕਿਹਾ

ਜਾਂਦਾ ਹੈ। ਯਾਦ ਰਹੇ ਸਿੱਖ ਧਰਮ ਵਿੱਚ ਇਹ ਦੋਵੇਂ ਇਕੱਠ ਕਿਸੇ ਬ੍ਰਾਹਮਣੀ ਤਿਉਹਾਰਾਂ

ਵਜੋਂ ਕਦੇ ਵੀ ਨਹੀ ਸਨ। ਸਿੱਖਾਂ ਵਿੱਚ ਦੀਵਾਲੀ ਦੀਵਿਆਂ ਮਠਿਆਈਆਂ ਆਤਿਸ਼ਬਾਜੀ ਦਾ

ਤਿਉਹਾਰ ਕਦੇ ਵੀ ਨਹੀ ਸੀ ਜਿਵੇਂ ਕਿ ਅੱਜ ਦਾ ਸਿੱਖ ਇਸ ਦਲਦਲ ਵਿੱਚ ਆਪ ਫਸ ਚੁੱਕਾ ਹੈ

ਅਤੇ ਆਪਣੀ ਆਉਣ ਵਾਲੀ ਨਸਲ ਨੂੰ ਵੀ ਫਸਾਈ ਜਾ ਰਿਹਾ ਹੈ। ਗੁਰੁ ਸਾਹਿਬਾਨ ਇਹਨਾਂ

ਮੌਕਿਆਂ ਤੇ ਆਉਣ ਵਾਲੀਆਂ ਸਿੱਖ ਸੰਗਤਾਂ ਦੀਆਂ ਦੁੱਖ ਤਕਲੀਫਾਂ ਸੁਣਦੇ ਅਤੇ ਉਹਨਾਂ ਦਾ

ਹਲ ਕੱਢਦੇ ਸਨ। ਖੈਰ ਅੱਜ ਦਾ ਆਪਣਾ ਵਿਸ਼ਾ ਕੇਵਲ ਦੀਵਾਲੀ ਨੂੰ ਸਮਝਣਾ ਹੈ ਕਿ ਇਸ ਦਾ

ਮੂਲ ਰੂਪ ਕੀ ਹੈ। ਦੀਵਾਲੀ ਇੱਕ ਬ੍ਰਹਮਣੀ ਤਿਉਹਾਰ ਹੈ ਅਤੇ ਸਿੱਖ ਵਿਚਾਰਧਾਰਾ ਨਾਲ ਇਸ

ਦਾ ਦੂਰ ਦਾ ਵੀ ਵਾਸਤਾ ਨਹੀ। ਮਨੂੰ ਸਿਮਰਤੀ ਮੁਤਾਬਕ ਹਿੰਦੂ ਸਮਾਜ ਨੂੰ ਚਾਰ ਵਰਣਾਂ

ਵਿੱਚ ਵੰਡਿਆ ਗਿਆ ਹੈ। ਚਾਰ ਵਰਣ ਇਹ ਹਨ ਬ੍ਰਹਮਣ, ਖੱਤਰੀ, ਵੈਸ਼, ਅਤੇ ਸੂਦਰ, ਇਹ ਵੰਡ

ਵੀ ਇਹਨਾਂ ਦੇ ਮਿਥੇ ਭਗਵਾਨ ਵਲੋਂ ਹੀ ਕੀਤੀ, ਦੱਸੀ ਜਾਦੀ ਹੈ। ਬ੍ਰਹਮਣ ਬਹੁਤ ਚਲਾਕ ਹੈ

ਵਧੀਆ ਤਿਉਹਾਰ ਅਤੇ ਸਮਾਂ ਆਪਣੇ ਕੋਲ ਰੱਖ ਲਿਆ ਮਿਹਨਤੀ ਅਤੇ ਹਲਕਾ ਬਾਕੀਆਂ ਕੋਲ ਅਤੇ

ਗੰਦਾ ਕੰਮ ਅਖੌਤੀ ਸੂਦਰਾਂ ਦੇ ਜਿੰਮੇ ਲਾਇਆ ਇਥੇ ਹੀ ਬਸ ਨਹੀ ਅਖੌਤੀ ਸੂਦਰਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਤਾਂ

ਬਾਕੀਆਂ ਦੇ ਮੁਕਾਬਲੇ ਪੈਰ ਦੀ ਜੁਤੀ ਸਮਝਿਆ ਗਿਆ। ਯਾਦ ਰਹੇ ਬ੍ਰਹਮਣ ਵਲੋ ਇਹਨਾਂ ਚਾਰ

ਵਰਨਾਂ ਵਿੱਚ ਫਰਕ ਦਸਣ ਵਾਸਤੇ ਉਪਰੋਕਤ ਤਿੰਨਾਂ ਵਰਣਾਂ ਦੇ ਜਨੇਊ ਪਾਉਣ ਦੇ ਸਮੇ ਉਮਰ,

ਮੌਸਮ ਢੰਗ, ਪਹਿਰਾਵੇ ਸਭ ਵੱਖ ਵੱਖ ਨੀਯਤ ਕੀਤੇ ਗਏ। ਬ੍ਰਹਮਣ ਦੀ ਇਸ ਘਟੀਆ ਸੋਚ

ਮੁਤਾਬਕ ਇਸਤਰੀ ਅਤੇ ਸੂਦਰ ਜਨੇਊ ਪਾਊਣ ਲਾਇਕ ਨਹੀ ਸਨ। ਚੇਤੇ ਰਹੇ ਜਦੋਂ ਵਰਣ ਕੀਤੀ ਗਈ

ਉਸ ਵਖਤ ਸਰੀਰ ਉਪਰ ਕਪੜੇ ਪਾਉਣ ਦਾ ਰਿਵਾਜ਼ ਨਹੀ ਸੀ ਕੇਵਲ ਜਨੇਊ ਤੋ ਹੀ ਪਤਾ ਲਗਦਾ ਸੀ

ਕਿ ਇਹ ਮਨੁੱਖ ਕਿਸ ਵਰਣ ਨਾਲ ਸਬੰਧ ਰੱਖਦਾ ਹੈ। ਇਹਨਾਂ ਦੇ ਤਿਉਹਾਰ ਵੀ ਵੱਖਰੇ ਵੱਖਰੇ

ਸਨ, ਬ੍ਰਾਹਮਣ ਦਾ ਤਿਊਹਾਰ ਵਿਸਾਖੀ, ਖੱਤਰੀਆਂ ਦਾਂ ਦੁਸਿਹਰਾ, ਬਾਣੀਏ (ਵੈਸ਼) ਇਹਨਾਂ

ਦਾ ਤਿਉਹਾਰ ਦੀਵਾਲੀ, ਇਸ ਦਿਨ ਇਹ ਲੋਕ ਲਛਮੀ ਦੀ ਪੂਜਾ ਕਰਦੇ ਹਨ, ਅਤੇ ਵਿਚਾਰੇ

ਸੂਦਰਾਂ ਵਾਸਤੇ ਘੱਟਾ ਮਿੱਟੀ ਸਿਰ ਵਿੱਚ ਪਾਊਣ ਲਈ ਹੋਲੀ ਦਾ ਤਿਉਹਾਰ ਦਿੱਤਾ ਗਿਆ।

ਇਹਨਾਂ ਤਿਉਹਾਰਾਂ ਨਾਲ ਹੋਰ ਵੀ ਅਨੇਕਾਂ ਮਨਘੜ ਕਹਾਣੀਆਂ ਜੁੜੀਆਂ ਹੋਈਆਂ ਹਨ। ਦੀਵਾਲੀ

ਦੀਵੇ ਜਗਾਉਣ ਦਾ ਤਿਉਹਾਰ ਹੈ ਇਸ ਦਾ ਅਰੰਭ ਉਹਨਾਂ ਸਮਿਆਂ ਵਿੱਚ ਕੀਤਾ ਗਿਆ ਜਦੋਂ

ਰੌਸਨੀ ਦਾ ਸਾਧਨ ਕੇਵਲ ਦੀਵੇ ਸਨ। ਦੀਵਾਲੀ ਕਿਰਤੀਆਂ ਦਾ ਤਿਉਹਾਰ ਸੀ ਉਹ ਸਾਰਾ ਸਾਲ

ਕੰਮ ਕਰਦੇ ਸਨ ਦੀਵਾਲੀ ਦੇ ਨਜ਼ਦੀਕ ਦੁਕਾਨਾਂ ਫੈਕਟਰੀਆਂ ਅਤੇ ਘਰਾਂ ਦੀ ਸਫਾਈ ਕਰਦੇ ਹਨ,

ਉਹ ਲੋਕ ਇਸ ਵਿਸ਼ਵਾਸ਼ ਨਾਲ਼ ਸਫਾਈ ਕਰਦੇ ਹਨ, ਕਿ ਦੀਵਾਲੀ ਵਾਲੀ ਰਾਤ ਲਛਮੀ ਮਾਤਾ ਸਾਡੇ

ਘਰਾਂ ਵਿੱਚ ਪਰਵੇਸ਼ ਕਰਦੀ ਹੈ, ਕਈ ਵਹਿਮੀ ਲੋਕ ਇਸ ਰਾਤ ਆਪਣੇ ਘਰਾਂ ਦੇ ਦਰਵਾਜੇ ਖੋਲ੍ਹ

ਕੇ ਰੱਖਦੇ ਹਨ, ਕਿ ਸਾਇਦ ਦਰਵਾਜਾ ਬੰਦ ਵੇਖ ਲਛਮੀ ਮਾਤਾ ਗਵਾਂਢੀਆਂ ਘਰ ਨਾ ਚਲੀ ਜਾਵੇ।

ਉਸ ਦਿਨ ਧੰਨ ਅਤੇ ਚਾਦੀ ਦੇ ਸਿੱਕਿਆਂ ਨਾਲ ਲੱਛਮੀ ਦੇਵੀ ਦੀ ਫੋਟੋ ਜਾਂ ਮੂਰਤੀ ਦੀ

ਪੂਜਾ ਕੀਤੀ ਜਾਦੀ ਹੈ। ਇਸ ਦਿਨ ਹਿੰਦੂ ਲੋਕ ਜੂਆ ਵੀ ਖੇਡਦੇ ਹਨ, ਕਿ ਸ਼ਾਇਦ ਬਿਨਾਂ

ਮਿਹਨਤ ਕੀਤਿਆਂ ਬਹੁਤਾ ਧੰਨ ਆ ਜਾਵੇ ਅਤੇ ਸਾਰਾ ਸਾਲ ਕੰਮ ਕਰਨ ਦੀ ਲੋੜ ਹੀ ਨਾ ਪਵੇ।

ਦੀਵਾਲੀ ਵਾਲੀ ਰਾਤ ਜੂਆ ਖੇਡਣ ਲਈ ਉਤਸ਼ਾਹਿਤ ਸ਼ਿਵ ਪੁਰਾਣ ਵਿੱਚ ਵੀ ਕੀਤਾ ਗਿਆ ਹੈ, ਉਥੇ

ਸ਼ਿਵਜੀ ਅਤੇ ਪਾਰਬਤੀ ਨੂੰ ਆਪਸ ਵਿੱਚ ਜੂਆ ਖੇਡਦੇ ਦਿਖਾਇਆ ਗਿਆ, ਰਮਾਇਣ ਅੰਦਰ ਰਾਮ ਅਤੇ

ਸੀਤਾ ਨੂੰ ਦੀਵਾਲੀ ਵਾਲੀ ਰਾਤ ਜੂਆ ਖੇਡਦਿਆਂ ਦਿਖਾਇਆ ਗਿਆ ਹੈ। ਅਨੇਕਾਂ ਵਹਿਮਾਂ ਨਾਲ

ਇਹ ਵੀ ਵਹਿਮ ਪ੍ਰਚਲਤ ਕੀਤਾ ਗਿਆ ਹੈ ਕਿ ਜਿਹੜਾ ਹਿੰਦੂ ਇਸ ਦਿਨ ਜੂਆ ਨਹੀ ਖੇਡੇਗਾ ਉਹ

ਖੋਤੇ ਦੀ ਜੂਨ ਵਿੱਚ ਪਵੇਗਾ ਇਸ ਵਹਿਮ ਦੇ ਕਾਰਣ ਅਨੇਕਾਂ ਲੋਕ ਆਪਣੀ ਆਰਥਿਕ ਲੁੱਟ ਕਰਵਾ

ਰਹੇ ਹਨ। ਆਤਿਸ਼ਬਾਜੀ ਦੇ ਕਾਰਣ ਕਈਆਂ ਦੇ ਘਰਾਂ, ਦੁਕਾਨਾਂ ਫੈਕਟਰੀਆਂ ਨੂੰ ਅੱਗਾਂ ਲੱਗ

ਜਾਂਦੀਆਂ ਹਨ। ਜਿੰਨਾਂ ਦੇ ਘਰਾਂ ਵਿੱਚ ਲਛਮੀ ਮਾਤਾ ਨੇ ਆਉਣਾ ਸੀ, ਉਹਨਾਂ ਦੇ ਘਰਾਂ

ਵਿੱਚੋਂ ਲਛਮੀ ਮਾਤਾ ਖੰਭ ਲਾਕੇ ਉਡ ਜਾਦੀ ਹੈ। ਭਾਰਤ ਅੰਦਰ ਸਭ ਨਾਲੋ ਵੱਧ ਲਛਮੀ ਦੀ

ਪੂਜਾ ਕੀਤੀ ਜਾਦੀ ਹੈ ਪਰ ਇਥੇ ਹੀ ਸਭ ਨਾਲੋ ਵੱਧ ਭੁਖ ਅਤੇ ਕੰਗਾਲੀ ਨਾਲ ਲੋਕ ਮਰ ਰਹੇ

ਹਨ। ਕਦੀ ਅਸੀ ਸੋਚਿਆ ਹੈ ਕਿ ਸਾਡੇ ਬੱਚੇ ਹਜ਼ਾਰਾਂ ਰੁਪਇਆਂ ਦੇ ਪਟਾਕੇ ਫੂਕ ਦੇਦੇ ਹਨ

ਤੇ ਸਾਡੇ ਗੁਵਾਢੀਆਂ ਕੋਲ ਨਾਹੀ ਰੋਟੀ ਖਾਣ ਲਈ ਪੈਸਾ ਅਤੇ ਨਾਹੀ ਬੱਚਿਆਂ ਦੇ ਪਹਿਨਣ

ਕਪੜਾ? ਵਾਪਾਰੀ ਲੋਕਾਂ ਦੇ ਘਰਾਂ ਵਿੱਚ ਉਸ ਦਿਨ ਖੁਸੀਆਂ ਮਨਾਈਆਂ ਜਾਦੀਆਂ ਹਨ,

ਮਠਿਆਈਆਂ ਤੇ ਹੋਰ ਅਨੇਕਾਂ ਪ੍ਰ੍ਰਕਾਰ ਤੋਹਫੇ ਦਿੱਤੇ ਜਾਦੇ ਹਨ। ਮੁਕਦੀ ਗੱਲ ਵਾਪਾਰੀ

ਲੋਕਾਂ ਦੇ ਘਰਾਂ ਵਿੱਚ ਉਸ ਦਿਨ ਲਛਮੀ ਦੇਵੀ ਭਾਗ ਲਾਉਦੀ ਹੈ, ਪਰ ਆਮ ਲੋਕਾਂ ਦੇ ਘਰਾਂ

ਵਿੱਚ ਉਸ ਦਿਨ ਦੀਵਾਲੀ ਨਹੀ ਸਗੋਂ ਦਿਵਾਲਾ ਹੁੰਦਾ ਹੈ, ਕਿਉਕੇ ਉਹਨਾਂ ਦੇ ਸ਼ਰਾਬੀ ਅਤੇ

ਜੂਆਰੀ ਪਤੀ ਸਭ ਕੁੱਝ ਜੂਏ ਵਿੱਚ ਹਾਰ ਆਉਦੇ ਹਨ, ਜਿਸ ਕਾਰਣ ਕਈ ਪ੍ਰਕਾਰ ਦੀਆਂ ਲੜਾਈਆਂ

ਹੁੰਦੀਆਂ ਹਨ, ਜਿਸ ਨਾਲ ਕਈ ਵੱਸਦੇ ਘਰ ਬਰਬਾਦ ਹੋ ਜਾਦੇ ਹਨ, ਅਤੇ ਉਹਨਾਂ ਦਾ ਹੱਸਦਾ

ਵੱਸਦਾ ਘਰ ਨਰਕ ਬਣ ਜਾਦਾਂ ਹੈ। ਆਉ ਇਸ ਤਿਉਹਾਰ ਦੇ ਪਿਛੋਕੜ ਨੂੰ ਹੋਰ ਸਮਝਣ ਦਾ ਜਤਨ

ਕਰੀਏ ਕਿ ਬ੍ਰਾਹਮਣ ਨੇ ਆਪਣੀ ਚਲਾਕੀ ਨਾਲ ਇਸ ਤਿਉਹਾਰ ਨੂੰ ਆਪਣੇ ਮਿਥੇ ਹੋਏ ਭਗਵਾਨ

ਨਾਲ ਕਿਵੇ ਜੋੜਿਆ ਸਮਾਂ ਪਾਕੇ ਇਸ ਤਿਉਹਾਰ ਨਾਲ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਰਾਮ ਚੰਦ੍ਰ ਜੀ ਰਾਹੀਂ ਰਾਵਣ

ਨੂੰ ਜਿੱਤਕੇ ਅਯੋਧਿਆ ਵਾਪਸ ਆਉਣ ਦੀ ਘਟਨਾ ਅਖੌਤੀ ਬ੍ਰਾਹਮਣ ਵਲੋਂ ਜੋੜ ਦਿੱਤੀ ਗਈ ਜਿਸ

ਦੀ ਖੁਸੀ ਵਿੱਚ ਦੀਪਮਾਲਾ ਮਾਲਾ ਕੀਤੀ ਗਈ ਮੰਨਿਆ ਜਾਦਾ ਹੈ। ਜਿੰਨ੍ਹਾ ਦਾ ਇਹ ਤਿਉਹਾਰ

ਹੈ ਉਹ ਜੰਮ ਜੰਮ ਮਨਾਉਣ ਸਾਨੂੰ ਕੋਈ ਇਤਰਾਜ਼ ਨਹੀ। ਪਰ ਸਿੱਖ ਇਸ ਅਖੌਤੀ ਤਿਉਹਾਰ ਨੂੰ

ਆਪਣਾ ਸਮਝ ਕਿ ਖੁਸੀਆਂ ਨਾਲ ਮਨਾਉਣ ਇਸ ਬਾਰੇ ਗੁਰੂ ਸਾਹਿਬਾਨ ਨੂੰ ਪੁਛਣਾ ਪਵੇਗਾ?

ਗੁਰਦੇਵ ਫੁਰਮਾਉਦ:

�ਜੁਗਹ ਜੁਗਹ ਕੇ ਰਾਜੇ ਕੀਏ ਗਾਵਹਿ ਕਰਿ ਅਵਤਾਰੀ॥ ਤਿਨ ਭੀ ਅੰਤ ਨ ਪਾਇਆ ਤਾ ਕਾ ਕਿਆ

ਕਰਿ ਆਖਿ ਵੀਚਾਰੀ॥ (ਪੰਨਾ 423) ਨਾਨਕ ਨਿਰਭਊ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰ ਹੋਰਿ ਕੇਤੇ ਰਾਮ ਰਵਾਲ॥

ਕੇਤੀਆ ਕੰਨ ਕਹਾਣੀਆ ਕੇਤੇ ਬੇਦ ਬੀਚਾਰ॥ (ਪੰਨਾ 464)

ਗੁਰੁ ਸਾਹਿਬਾਨ ਤਾਂ ਫੁਰਮਾਉਦੇ ਹਨ ਇਹ ਆਪਣੇ ਸਮੇ ਦੇ ਰਾਜੇ ਹੋਏ ਹਨ ਪਰ ਬ੍ਰਾਹਮਣ ਦੀ

ਚਲਾਕੀ ਨੇ ਇਹਨਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਭਗਵਾਨ ਬਣਾਕੇ ਲੋਕਾਂ ਸਾਮਣ੍ਹੇ ਪੇਸ ਕੀਤਾ। ਸਾਡੇ ਕੁੱਝ ਅਖੌਤੀ

ਲਿਖਾਰੀਆਂ ਵਲੋਂ ਇਸ ਦੀਵਾਲੀ ਨੂੰ ਸਿੱਖ ਧਰਮ ਨਾਲ ਵੀ ਜੋੜਿਆ ਜਾਦਾ ਹੈ, ਉਹਨਾਂ ਵਲੋਂ

ਇਹ ਪ੍ਰਚਾਰ ਕੀਤਾ ਜਾਦਾ ਹੈ, ਕਿ ਛੇਵੈਂ ਪਾਤਸਾਹ ਗਵਾਲੀਅਰ ਕਿਲੇ ਦੀ ਕੈਦ ਵਿੱਚੋ

ਦੀਵਾਲੀ ਵਾਲੇ ਦਿਨ ਰਿਹਾ ਹੋਕੇ ਆਏ ਸਨ ਇਸ ਖੁਸੀ ਕਾਰਣ ਸਿੱਖਾਂ ਵਿੱਚ ਦੀਵਾਲੀ ਮਨਾਉਣ

ਦੀ ਪਿਰਤ ਪੈ ਗਈ, ਪਰ ਇਹ ਗਲ ਸਚਾਈ ਤੋਂ ਬਹੁਤ ਦੂਰ ਹੈ। ਕਿਉ ਕਿ ਗੁਰੁ ਜੀ ਅਗਸਤ ਦੇ

ਮਹੀਨੇ ਸੰਨ 1621 ਗਵਾਲੀਅਰ ਦੀ ਜੇਲ ਵਿੱਚੋਂ 52 ਰਾਜਿਆਂ ਸਮੇਤ ਬਾਹਰ ਆਏ ਸਨ, ਪਰ

ਸੁਆਰਥੀ ਲਿਖਾਰੀਆਂ ਨੇ ਇਸ ਨੂੰ ਦੀਵਾਲੀ ਨਾਲ ਜੋੜ ਦਿੱਤਾ, ਮੰਨ ਲਵੋ ਜੇ ਇਹ ਗੱਲ ਸੱਚ

ਵੀ ਹੋਵੇ ਤਾਂ ਗੁਰੁ ਜੀ ਨੇ ਇਹ ਤਾਂ ਨਹੀ ਸੀ ਕਿਹਾ ਕਿ ਤੁਸੀ ਹਜ਼ਾਰਾਂ ਲੱਖਾਂ ਰੁਪਇਆਂ

ਦੀ ਆਤਿਸ਼ਬਾਜੀ ਚਲਾਉ ਅਤੇ ਲੋਕਾਂ ਦੇ ਘਰਾਂ ਫੈਕਟਰੀਆਂ ਨੂੰ ਅੱਗਾਂ ਲਾਕੇ ਲੋਕਾਂ ਨੂੰ

ਘਰੋਂ ਬੇਘਰ ਕਰ ਦਿਉ। ਗੁਰੂ ਹਰਿਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਤੋਂ ਪਹਿਲਾਂ ਗੁਰੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਜੀ

ਬਾਬਰ ਦੀ ਜੇਲ ਵਿੱਚੋਂ ਬਾਹਰ ਆਏ ਸਨ, ਪਰ ਉਹ੍ਹਨਾਂ ਦੇ ਬਾਹਰ ਆਉਣ ਦੀ ਖੁਸੀ ਵਿੱਚ

ਕਿਸੇ ਨੇ ਵੀ ਅਜਿਹਾ ਦਿਨ ਕਿਉ ਨਾਂ ਮਨਾਇਆ? ਸਾਡੇ ਅਖੋਤੀ ਸਾਧਾਂ ਪ੍ਰਚਾਰਕਾਂ ਰਾਗੀਆਂ

ਅਤੇ ਹੋਰ ਧਾਰਮਿਕ ਸ੍ਰੇਣੀ ਵਲੋਂ ਇਹ ਪਰਚਾਰ ਪੱਬਾਂ ਦੇ ਜ਼ੋਰ ਨਾਲ ਕੀਤਾ ਜਾ ਰਿਹਾ ਹੈ,

ਕਿ ਦੀਵਾਲੀ ਸਿੱਖਾਂ ਦਾ ਪਵਿੱਤਰ ਤਿਉਹਾਰ ਹੈ, ਇਸ ਗੱਲ ਦਾ ਬਾਰ ਬਾਰ ਪ੍ਰਚਾਰ ਕੀਤਾ ਜਾ

ਰਿਹਾ ਹੈ, ਦਾਲ ਰੋਟੀ ਘਰ ਦੀ ਦੀਵਾਲੀ ਅਬਰਸਰ ਦੀ, ਕਈ ਰਾਗੀਆਂ ਵਲੋਂ ਭਾਈ ਗੁਰਦਾਸ ਜੀ

ਦੀ ਪਾਉੜੀ, ਦੀਵਾਲੀ ਦੀ ਰਾਤਿ ਦੀਵੇ ਬਾਲੀਅਨਿ, ਦਾ ਆਸਰਾ ਲੈ ਕਿ ਭੋਲੇ ਭਾਲੇ ਲੋਕਾਂ

ਨੂੰ ਗੁੰਮਰਾਹ ਕੀਤਾ ਜਾ ਰਿਹਾ ਹੈ ਪਾਉੜੀ ਦੀ ਪਹਿਲੀ ਤੁਕ ਨੂੰ ਅਸਥਾਈ ਬਣਾਕੇ ਪਾਉੜੀ

ਦੇ ਸਹੀ ਅਰਥਾਂ ਤੋਂ ਸੰਗਤਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਕ੍ਹੋਹਾਂ ਦੂਰ ਰੱਖਿਆ ਜਾ ਰਿਹਾ ਹੈ। ਇਹ ਉਨਵੀ ਵਾਰ

ਛੇਵੀ ਪਾਉੜੀ ਹੈ ਇਸ ਵਿੱਚ ਭਾਈ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਜੀ ਫੁਰਮਾਉਦੇ (1) ਦੀਵਾਲੀ ਦੀ ਰਾਤ ਨੂੰ ਲੋਕ

ਘਰੋ ਘਰੀ ਦੀਵੇ ਬਾਲ ਦੇ ਹਨ ਪਰ ਉਹ ਥੋੜੇ ਚਿਰ ਮਗਰੋ ਇਹ ਦੀਪਮਾਲਾ ਗੁੰਮ ਹੋ ਜਾਦੀ ਹੈ।

(2) ਰਾਤ ਨੂੰ ਤਾਰੇ ਵੱਡੇ ਛੋਟੇ ਅਕਾਸ਼ ਵਿਖੇ ਚਮਕਦੇ ਹਨ ਪਰ ਦਿਨੇ ਉਹਨਾਂ ਦਾ ਖੁਰਾ

ਖੋਜ ਨਹੀ ਦਿਸਦਾ। (3) ਫੁਲਾਂ ਦੀਆਂ ਬਗੀਚੀਆਂ ਕੁੱਝ ਚਿਰ ਅਚਰਜ ਖਿੜਦੀਆਂ ਹਨ ਪਰ ਫੁਲ

ਤੋੜਣ ਤੋ ਬਾਅਦ ਬਗੀਚੀਆਂ ਦਾ ਉਹ ਸੁਹੱਪਣ ਕਾਈਮ ਨਹੀ ਰਹਿੰਦਾ। (4) ਬਹੁਤ ਟੋਲੀਆਂ

ਬ੍ਹੰਨ ਬ੍ਹੰਨ ਯਾਤਰੀ ਤੀਰਥਾਂ ਤੇ ਜਾਂਦੇ ਹਨ ਪਰ ਕੁੱਝ ਸਮੇ ਬਾਅਦ ਸਾਰੇ ਯਾਤਰੂ ਆਪਣੇ

ਆਪਣੇ ਘਰਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਆ ਜਾਦੇ ਹਨ, ਅਤੇ ਉਹ ਅਸਥਾਨ ਤੇ ਫਿਰ ਸੁੰਨ ਪਈ ਰਹਿੰਦੀ ਹੈ। (ੑੑੑ5)

ਹਰੀ ਚੰਦ ਇੱਕ ਰਾਜਾ ਮੰਨਿਆ ਗਿਆ ਹੈ ਜਿਸ ਦੀ ਧਰਤੀ ਅਤੇ ਅਕਾਸ਼ ਦੇ ਵਿਚਕਾਰ ਇੱਕ ਵੱਖਰੀ

ਨਗਰੀ ਮੰਨੀ ਗਈ ਹੈ ਜਿਸ ਦਾ ਨਾਮ ਹਰਿਚੰਦਉਰੀ ਮੰੀਨਆ ਜਾਦਾ ਹੈ, ਜੋ ਕੇਵਲ ਕਹਿਣ ਮਾਤਰ

ਹੀ ਹੈ ਪਰ ਵਾਸ਼ਤਵ ਵਿੱਚ ਉਸ ਦਾ ਕਿਤੇ ਵਜੂਦ ਨਹੀ ਹੈ। (6) ਜੋ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਹਨ ਉਹਨਾਂ

ਨੂੰ ਸੁੱਖਾਂ ਦੇ ਫਲ ਦੀ ਦਾਤ ਮਿਲੀ ਹੋਈ ਹੈ ਕਿਉ ਉਹ ਗੁਰੁ ਸ਼ਬਦ ਦੀ ਸੰਮ੍ਹਾਲ ਕਰਦੇ

ਹਨ। ਪਾਉੜੀ ਦਾ ਮੂਲ ਪਾਠ ਇਹ ਹੈ

(1) ਦੀਵਾਲੀ ਦੀ ਰਾਤਿ ਦੀਵੇ ਬਾਲੀਅਨਿ।

(2) ਤਾਰੇ ਜਾਤਿ ਸਨਾਤਿ ਅੰਬਰਿ ਭਾਲੀਅਨ। (3) ਫੁਲਾਂ ਦੀ ਬਾਗਾਤਿ ਚੁਣਿ ਚੁਣਿ

ਚਾਲੀਅਨਿ। (4) ਤੀਰਥਿ ਜਾਤੀ ਜਾਤਿ ਨੈਣ ਨਿਹਾਲੀਅਨਿ। (5) ਹਰਿਚੰਦਉਰੀ ਝਾਤਿ ਵਸਾਇ

ਉਚਾਲੀਅਨਿ। (6) ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਸੁਖ ਫਲ ਦਾਤਿ ਸ਼ਬਦਿ ਸਮ੍ਹਾਲੀਅਨਿ।

ਭਾਈ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਜੀ ਦੀਆਂ ਪਾਉੜੀਆਂ ਦਾ ਸਾਰ ਅੰਸ ਹਮੇਸਾ ਪਾਉੜੀ ਦੀਆਂ ਆਖੀਰਲੀਆਂ ਤੁਕਾ

ਵਿੱਚ ਹੁੰਦਾ ਹੈ। ਇਸ ਪਾਉੜੀ ਅੰਦਰ ਭਾਈ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਉਪਰਲੀ ਪੰਕਤੀ ਅੰਦਰ ਉਦਾਰਣ ਦੇ ਰਹੇ

ਹਨ।, ਕਿ ਜਿਵੇਂ ਦੀਵਾਲੀ ਵਾਲੀ ਰਾਤ ਲੋਕ ਆਪਣੇ ਘਰਾਂ ਵਿੱਚ ਦੀਪਮਾਲਾ ਕਰਦੇ ਹਨ, ਪਰ

ਉਹਨਾਂ ਦੀਵਿਆਂ ਦੀ ਰੋਸਨੀ ਕੇਵਲ ਉਨੀ ਦੇਰ ਹੀ ਹੁੰਦੀ ਹੈ ਜਿੰਨਾ ਚਿਰ ਦੀਵਿਆਂ ਵਿੱਚ

ਤੇਲ ਹੁੰਦਾ ਹੈ। ਕਹਿਣ ਤੋਂ ਭਾਵ ਇਹ ਰੋਸਨੀ ਥੋੜ ਚਿਰੀ ਹੈ, ਅਖੀਰਲ਼ੀ ਪੰਕਤੀ ਅੰਦਰ ਭਾਈ

ਜੀ ਫੁਰਮਾਓਦੇ ਹਨ ਕਿ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਵਿਅਕਤੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਦੇ ਗਿਆਨ ਦੁਆਰਾ ਆਪਣੇ ਅੰਦਰ ਸਦਾ ਰਹਿਣ

ਵਾਲੇ ਸੁਖ ਨੂੰ ਪੈਦਾ ਕਰ ਲੈਦਾਂ ਹੈ। ਪਰ ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਸਿਧਾਂਤ ਦੀ ਸਮਝ ਤੋਂ ਵਿਹੂਣੇ ਕੁੱਝ

ਰਾਗੀਆਂ ਨੇ ਇਸ ਪਾਉੜੀ ਦੀ ਪਹਿਲੀ ਤੁਕ ਨੂੰ ਬਾਰ ਬਾਰ ਪੜ ਕੇ ਸੰਗਤਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਅਨਮਤੀ

ਤਿਉਹਾਰਾਂ ਨਾਲ ਜੋੜਣ ਲਈ ਆਪਣੇ ਹੁਨਰ ਰਾਹੀਂ ਇਸ ਸੇਵਾ ਵਿੱਚ ਆਪਣਾ ਵੱਡਮੁਲਾ ਯੋਗਦਾਨ

ਪਾਇਆ ਹੈ। ਦਰਬਾਰ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਅੰਦਰ ਵੈਸੇ ਸਵੇਰ ਤੋਂ ਲੈ ਕੇ ਦੇਰ ਰਾਤ ਤੱਕ ਕੀਰਤਨ ਹੁੰਦਾ

ਹੈ, ਪਰ ਜਿਸ ਦਿਨ ਦੀਵਾਲੀ ਹੁੰਦੀ ਹੈ, ਉਸ ਦਿਨ ਸ਼ਾਮ ਨੂੰ ਵੇਲੇ ਸਿਰ ਹੀ ਕੀਰਤਨ ਦੀ

ਸਮਾਪਤੀ ਕਰ ਦਿੱਤੀ ਜਾਦੀ ਹੈ। ਇਸ ਦਾ ਮਤਬਲ ਇਹ ਹੋਇਆ ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਦੇ ਕੀਰਤਨ ਨਾਲੋ ਵੀ

ਆਤਿਸ਼ਬਾਜੀ ਜਿਆਦਾ ਜਰੂਰੀ ਹੈ। ਜਿਸ ਸਰੋਵਰ ਦੇ ਜਲ ਨੂੰ ਨਾਮਧਰੀਕ ਪ੍ਰਚਾਰਕਾਂ ਵਲੋਂ

ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਕਹਿ ਕਹਿ ਪ੍ਰਚਾਰਿਆ ਜਾ ਰਿਹਾ ਹੈ, ਉਸੇ ਦੇ ਜਲ ਨੂੰ ਆਤਿਸ਼ਬਾਜੀ ਦੇ ਨਾਲ ਫਿਰ

ਗੰਦਾ ਕੀਤਾ ਜਾਦਾ ਹੈ। ਕੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਜੀ ਨੇ ਸਾਨੂੰ ਅਜਿਹੇ ਅਨਮਤੀ ਤਿਉਹਾਰਾਂ ਨਾਲ

ਜੋੜਿਆ ਸੀ ਜਰਾ ਸੋਚਣ ਦੀ ਲੋੜ ਹੈ। ਜਿੰਨਾ ਪੈਸਾ ਇਸ ਤਰਾਂ ਬਰਬਾਦ ਕੀਤਾ ਜਾਦਾ ਹੈ,

ਇਹੋ ਪੈਸਾ ਗਰੀਬ ਬੱਚਿਆਂ ਦੀ ਪੜਾਈ ਤੇ ਵੀ ਖਰਚ ਕੀਤਾ ਜਾ ਸਕਦਾ ਹੈ। ਭਾਈ ਗੁਰਦਾਸ ਜੀ

ਫੁਰਮਾਉਦੇ ਹਨ, ਜੇ ਮਾਂ ਹੀ ਪੁੱਤਰ ਨੂੰ ਜਹਿਰ ਦੇਵੇ ਤਾਂ ਉਸ ਨੂੰ ਪਿਆਰ ਕਿਸ ਕਰਨਾ

ਹੈ? ਜੇ ਪਹਿਰੇਦਾਰ ਹੀ ਘਰ ਲੁੱਟ ਲਵੇ ਤਾਂ ਦਸੋ ਉਸ ਦੀ ਰਖਵਾਲੀ ਕਿਵੇ ਹੋ ਸਕਦੀ ਹੈ?

ਮਲਾਹ ਹੀ ਜੇ ਬੇੜੀ ਨੂੰ ਡੋਬ ਦੇਵੇ ਤਾਂ ਦਸੋ ਪਾਰਲਾ ਕੰਢਾ ਕਿਵੇ ਪਾ ਸਕੀਦਾ ਹੈ? ਜੇ

ਅਗਵਾਈ ਕਰਨ ਹੀ ਰਾਹ ਵਿੱਚ ਠੱਗੀ ਮਾਰੇ ਤਾਂ ਦੀਨ ਹੋ ਕੇ ਕਿਸ ਕੋਲ ਪੁਕਾਰ ਕਰੀਏ? ਜੇ

ਖੇਤੀ ਨੂੰ ਵਾੜ ਹੀ ਖਾ ਜਾਏ ਤਾਂ ਕਿਹੜਾ ਰਾਖੀ ਕਰਨ ਵਾਲਾ ਆਵੇਗਾ? ਜੇ ਬਾਦਸ਼ਾਹ ਹੀ

ਬੇਇਨਸਾਫੀ ਕਰੇ ਤਾਂ ਗਵਾਹ ਨੂੰ ਕਿਸ ਪੁਛਣਾ ਹੈ? ਰੋਗੀ ਨੂੰ ਜੇ ਵੈਦ ਹੀ ਮਾਰ ਦੇਵੇ ਜੇ

ਮਿੱਤਰ ਹੀ ਧ੍ਰੋਹ ਕਮਾਵੇ ਤਾਂ ਭਰੋਸਾ ਕਿਸ ਤੇ ਕੀਤਾ ਜਾ ਸਕਦਾ ਹੈ? ਅਤੇ ਜੇ ਗੁਰੁ ਹੀ

ਮੁਕਤੀ ਨਾ ਦੇਵੇ ਭਾਵ ਜੇ ਗੁਰੂ ਹੀ ਬੁਰਾਈਆਂ ਤੋਂ ਨਾ ਬਚਾਏ ਤਾਂ ਮੁਕਤੀ ਦੀ ਆਸ ਕਿਸ

ਕੋਲੋ ਰੱਖੀ ਜਾ ਸਕਦੀ?

ਜਨਨੀ ਸੁਤਹਿ ਬਿਖੁ ਦੇਤ ਹੇਤੁ ਕਉਨ ਰਾਖੈ, ਘਰੁ ਮੁਸੈ ਪਾਹਰੂਆ ਕਹੋ ਕੈਸੇ ਰਾਖੀਐ।

ਕਰੀਆ ਜਉ ਬੋਰੈ ਨਾਵ ਕਹੋ ਕੈਸੇ ਪਾਵੈ ਪਾਰੁ, ਅਗੂਆ ਊਬਾਟ ਪਾਰੈ ਕਾਪੈ ਦੀਨੁ ਭਾਖੀਐ। )

ਖੈਤੇ ਜਉ ਖਾਇ ਬਾਰਿ ਕਉਨ ਧਾਇ ਰਾਖਨਹਾਰੁ, ਚਕ੍ਰਵੈ ਕਰੈ ਅਨਿਆਉ ਪੂਛੈ ਕਉਨੁ ਸਾਖੀਐ।

ਰੋਗੀਐ ਜਉ ਬੈਦੁ ਮਾਰੈ ਮਿਤ੍ਰ ਜਉ ਕਮਾਵੈ ਦ੍ਰੋਹੁ, ਗੁਰ ਨ ਮੁਕਤੁ ਕਾ ਪੈ ਅਭਲਾਖੀਐ॥


ਇਸ ਪੂਰੇ ਕਬਿਤ ਦਾ ਭਾਵ ਇਹੋ ਹੀ ਨਿਕਲਦਾ ਹੈ ਕਿ ਜੇ ਕੌਮ ਦਾ ਆਗੂ ਹੀ ਅੰਨ੍ਹਾ ਹੋਵੇ

ਉਸ ਕੌਮ ਨੂੰ ਰਸਾਤਲ ਵਲੋ ਕੋਈ ਨਹੀ ਬਚਾ ਸਕਦਾ। ਇਸ ਲਈ ਸਾਨੂੰ ਆਪਣਾ ਆਗੂ ਕੋਈ ਮਨੁਖ

ਨਹੀ ਸਗੋਂ ਗੁਰੁ ਨੂੰ ਬਨਾਉਣ ਦੀ ਲੋੜ ਹੈ। ਗੁਰੁ ਜੀ ਫੁਰਮਾਉਦੇ ਹਨ ਹੇ ਅਕਾਲ ਪੁਰਖ ਜੀ

ਮੇਰੇ ਵਾਸਤੇ ਤੁਹਾਡਾ ਨਾਮ ਦੀਵਾ ਹੈ ਅਤੇ ਆਪਣੇ ਦੁਖਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਮੈਂ ਤੇਲ ਬਣਾਇਆ ਹੋਇਆ

ਹੈ। ਹੁਣ ਜਿਉ ਜਿਉ ਗੁਰੁ ਗਿਆਨ ਦੇ ਦੁਆਰਾ ਰੋਸਨੀ ਹੁੰਦੀ ਹੈ, ਭਾਵ ਸੂਝ ਆਉਦੀ ਮੇਰਾ

ਦੁਖਾਂ ਰੂਪੀ ਤੇਲ ਸੜਦਾ ਜਾਦਾ ਹੈ ਮੇਰਾ ਹੁਣ ਬੁਰਾਈਆਂ ਨਾਲੋ ਸਦਾ ਵਾਸਤੇ ਨਾਤਾ ਤੁੱਟ

ਗਿਆ ਹੈ। ਆਉ ਆਪਾ ਵੀ ਅਨਮਤੀ ਤਿਉਹਾਰ ਤਿਆਗ ਕੇ ਆਪਣੇ ਅੰਦਰ ਨਾਮ ਦੇ ਦੀਵੇ ਜਗਾਈਏ ਆਸਾ

ਮਹਲਾ ੧ ॥ ਦੀਵਾ ਮੇਰਾ ਏਕੁ ਨਾਮੁ ਦੁਖੁ ਵਿਚਿ ਪਾਇਆ ਤੇਲੁ ॥ ਉਨਿ ਚਾਨਣਿ ਓਹੁ ਸੋਖਿਆ

ਚੂਕਾ ਜਮ ਸਿਉ ਮੇਲੁ ॥੧॥ (358)
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