Sunday, August 10, 2014

Rescuing abducted women and all that accompanies the phenomenon

(In response to a poem that speaks of Hindu women being rescued from marauders by Sikh heroes in the past.)

I like this poem as a voice of protest against ritualism. And I hope this protest is not limited to only  "threads" - there are so many other symbols which are as useless and  helpless as these threads and yet we are willing to die for them.

And the other thing,-   I do not know how gracious, dignified and heroic it is to keep  rubbing this point about protecting Hindu women from  marauders ad nauseam .. Most of those who saved Hindus women were men who had only recently been drawn from this very society and were not aliens brought in from  foreign lands.

All the Gurus' Sikhs came from a community which we seem so keen to ridicule today. Would the Gurus too  have spoken about that community or any community  the way we do?  Or would the Gurus even forgive us for doing what they so strongly forbade us?  The ancestors of our Gurus too belonged to some community. Should we ridicule them too?

I doubt if Sikhism  teaches us to humiliate our protectees    by constantly reminding them of their failure to protect their women. Even our own women folk were attacked and left undefended on many an occasion in history - right up to November 1984  (Let me recount a personal example on this. Life and  honour of  two of my closest relatives - my Bhabiji and my niece were  defended and  saved by their Hindu neighbours in Janakpuri, Delhi. These noble neighbours  risked their own lives for this in November 1984. And that was when Sikhs had deserted one another  for their own safety).

So where should I rate the selfless courage of these Hindu neighbours who were not even close friends of my brother and  who yet protected his family against members of their own community?And the voice raised in favour of the Sikhs by eminent Hindu legal luminaries, journalist, human  rights and civil liberties  champions and many, many others  is too recent to forget. True there are elements in that  community who act against all established civilised norms, and are driven by communal considerations. But such elements exist in every community, or don't they?

And if we are so keen to remind Hindus of what our forefathers did for their forefathers, must we forget  what they did for the Sahibzadas - to name just one example ? The Sikhs themselves deserted the Gurus but the likes of Todar Mal stood by the Guru and his family.Examples of the Hindu followers of the Gurus sacrificing everything for the Guru and his family are far too many to forget.That is because the Gurus, unlike us, did not speak the language of hatred, derision and ridicule against them. And these Hindu devotees adored them and loved them better than they loved their own lives.

I think we are being unfair to our own religion  when we run down people from other communities.

Just a humble point of view.

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