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What the British think about Sikhs today

What the British think about Sikhs today  

From a BBC Feature

The rise of Hindu nationalism, and renewed claims that Sikhism is  nothing more than a Hindu sect, have given Sikhs cause for alarm' Overview of Sikhism -
Sikhism is the youngest of the great world faiths. Sikhism is Britain's third most popular religion, with about half a million Sikhs living in the UK. Sikh men are easily identified by their beards and turbans..\
ਅੱਜ ਦਾ ਅੰਗਰੇਜ਼ ਸਿੱਖ ਧਰਮ ਅਤੇ ਸਿੱਖਾਂ ਬਾਰੇ ਕੀ ਵਿਚਾਰ ਰਖਦਾ ਹੈਸਿੱਖ ਧਰਮ ਦੇ ਮੁਢਲੇ ਨਿਯਮ ਕੀ ਹਨ? ਕਿਸੇ ਸਿੱਖ ਪ੍ਰਚਾਰਕ ਨਾਲੋਂ  ਜਿਆਦਾ ਅੱਛੇ ਤਰੀਕੇ ਨਾਲ ਦੱਸੇ ਗਏ ਹਨ।ਸਿੱਖ ਜੁਝਾਰੂ ਕਿਓ ਬਣੇ? ਅੰਗਰੇਜ ਅਤੇ ਸਿੱਖ, ਅੰਗਰੇਜਾਂ ਨੇ ਕਿਵੇ ਆਪਣੇ ਮਤਲਬ ਦੇ ਬੰਦੇ ਗੁਰਦੁਆਰਿਆਂ 'ਚ ਵਾੜ ਰਾਜਨੀਤਕ ਫਾਇਦੇ ਲਏ? ਜਲਿਆਂਵਾਲੇ ਦੀ ਸ਼ਰਮਨਾਕ ਘਟਨਾ, ਕਿਵੇ 1947 'ਚ ਸਿੱਖਾਂ ਆਪਣਾਂ ਖੁਦ ਦਾ ਰਾਜ ਨਾਂ ਮੰਗਿਆ, ਲੰਮੇ ਸੰਘਰਸ਼ ਮਗਰੋਂ 1966  'ਚ ਸੂਬਾ ਮਿਲਿਆ ਪਰ ਫਿਰ ਵੀ ਬੇਇਨਸਾਫੀ ਭਰਿਆ, ਜਦੋ ਜਹਿਦ ਜਾਰੀ ਰਹੀ, ਸੰਤ ਭਿੰਡਰਾਂਵਾਲੇ, 1984 ਦਾ ਸਿੱਖ ਕਤਲੇਆਮ, ਹਿੰਦੁ ਸਿੱਖ ਪਾੜਾ, ਅੱਜ ਦਾ ਪੰਜਾਬ ਸ਼ਾਂਤ ਹੈ ਪਰ ਹਿੰਦੂਆਂ ਨੇ 2002 'ਚ ਇਕ ਵਾਰ ਫਿਰ ਹੋਕਾ ਦੇ ਦਿਤਾ ਹੈ ਕਿ ਸਿੱਖ ਹਿੰਦੂ ਧਰਮ ਦਾ ਹੀ ਇਕ ਅੰਗ ਹਨ ਤੇ ਇਸ ਤੋਂ ਸਿੱਖਾਂ 'ਚ ਚਿੰਤਾ ਬਣੀ ਹੋਈ ਹੈ।ਤੇ ਅੱਗੇ ਸਿੱਖਾਂ ਦੀ ਵਲੈਤ ਜਾ ਕੇ ਵੱਸਣ ਦੀ ਪੂਰੀ ਦਾਸਤਾਨ ਦਿੱਤੀ ਗਈ ਹੈ।ਜਗ੍ਹਾਂ ਦੀ ਕਿਰਸ ਕਰਦੇ ਹੋਏ ਅਸੀ ਮਜਬੂਰਨ ਲੇਖ ਨੂੰ ਕੱਟ ਕੇ ਛੋਟਾ ਕਰ ਦਿੱਤਾ ਹੈ।ਬੀ.ਬੀ. ਸੀ ਦੇ ਇੰਟਰਨੈਟ ਟਿਕਾਣੇ ਤੋ ਇਹ  ਕੱਢਿਆ ਗਿਆ ਹੈ।

Belief and Life
The most important thing in Sikhism is the internal religious state of the individual
Sikhs avoid superstitious behaviour, and pilgrimages, statues, buildings, and “blind” rituals. 
The Bare Essentials of Sikhism: Key Beliefs
Sikhism is a monotheistic religion
 emphasises social and sexual equality. It stresses the importance of doing good actions rather than merely carrying out rituals .
Keep God in heart and mind at all times
Live honestly and work hard
Treat everyone equally
Be generous to the less fortunate
Serve others
The Sikh place of worship is called a “Gurdwara” the gateway to the Guru.
The Sikh scripture is a book called the Guru Granth Sahib
Sikhism/ Sikh History
Quite distinct from Hinduism and Islam, .Sikhism was born in the Punjab which now falls into the present day states of India and Pakistan.
Militarisation of the Sikhs
Sikhism was well established by the time of Guru Arjan, the fifth Guru. However, during his time Sikhism was seen as a threat by the state and Guru Arjan was eventually executed for his faith in 1606.
The sixth Guru, Hargobind, started to militarise the community so that they would be able to resist any oppression. Aurangzeb, who used force to make his subjects accept Islam had the ninth Guru, Tegh Bahadur, arrested and executed in 1675
The Khalsa
The tenth Guru, Gobind Singh, recreated the Sikhs as a military group of men and women called the Khalsa in 1699, with the intention that the Sikhs should for ever be able to defend their faith. He established the Sikh rite of initiation (called khandey di pahul) and the 5 Ks which give Sikhs their unique appearance.
After the Gurus
The first military leader of the Sikhs to follow the Gurus was Banda Singh Bahadur. He led a successful campaign against the Moghals until he was captured and executed in 1716 In the middle of the century the Sikhs rose up again, and over the next 50 years took over more and more territory. In 1799 Ranjit Singh  captured Lahore, and in 1801 established the Punjab as an independent state. He proved an adept ruler of a state in which Sikhs were still in a minority. Although a devout Sikh, he took part in religious acts with Muslims and Hindus as well.
The Sikhs and the British Raj

The Sikhs got on well with the British partly because they came to think of themselves less as subjects of the Raj than as partners of the British. The British helped themselves get a favourable religious spin when they took control of the Sikh religious establishment by putting their own choices in control of the Gurdwaras. Good relations between Sikhs and British came to an end in 1919 with the Amritsar massacre when British troops commanded by General E H Dyer opened fire without warning on 10,000 people.
Some historians regard the Amritsar Massacre as the event that began the decline of the British Raj.
The Partition of India
When British India gained its independence in 1947. The Sikhs felt badly treated and reluctantly chose to join India. The Sikhs were unable to demand their own state, because there were too few of them to resist Pakistan's claim to the Punjab. Only by siding with India were they able to keep part of the Punjab.
A State of Their Own
The Sikh ambition for a state of their own was something that India would not concede. To do so would have allowed communalism. However, in 1966, after years of Sikh demands, India created Punjab as a state with a Sikh majority. This was not enough to stop Sikh anger  the unfair way in which they thought India had set the boundaries of the new state.
Sikhism Sikh History - 4
The Invasion of the Golden Temple

As Sikh discontent grew, the conflict gradually changed from a purely political into a confrontation between Hindus and Sikhs; and then to real violence A Sikh preacher called Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale became the leader of the most disaffected of the Sikhs. He was often portrayed as representing all Sikhs, although, actually, he did not.
 In June 1984 Indian troops launched “Operation Bluestar”. They attacked the Golden Temple Complex, killing many of those inside, and seriously damaging the buildings.
The Assassination of Indira Gandhi

This invasion of the holiest place of the Sikhs infuriated many Sikhs, even the non-militant. They saw the Indira Gandhi,  as a deliberate persecutor of the Sikh faith and community. In October 1984, Indira Gandhi was assassinated by 2 of her Sikh bodyguards.
Anti-Sikh Riots Kill Thousands
Four days of anti-Sikh rioting followed in India. Newspapers and human-rights groups put the death toll between 10,000 and 17,000. Sikhs are still resentful that action has not been taken against all those who were responsible.For several years militant Sikhs responded by killing members of the Hindu community and a number of Sikh political leaders who opposed them.The anger and frustration dominated Sikh politics until the mid-1990s.
The Current Position
The 300th anniversary of the Sikh Khalsa in 1999 changed the Sikh community. It was covered positively and approvingly in the Indian and world press, which did much to restore Sikh confidence that they were appreciated for their true worth.The Punjab is presently peaceful, although in the last two or three years, the rise of Hindu nationalism, and renewed claims that Sikhism is nothing more than a Hindu sect have given Sikhs cause for alarm.M

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