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I LOVE MY INDIA

Sikhism and Hinduism are considered as separate religions today. A closer look at the origin of Sikhism shows that Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of Sikhism, had started a reformatory movement. He despised the evils that had crept into Hinduism like the worship of many deities, caste system, fasts, pilgrimage and preached that God is one, eternal and transcends time - the original teachings of the Vedanta. He did not denounce the holy Hindu scriptures but despised their being read without understanding their meaning. Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth and the last Guru, criticised the Hindu dictum of "ahimsa paramo dharma" and was inspired by the Puranas and the Bhagwad Geeta wherein the lord sends saviour whenever there is oppression and injustice. He founded the Khalsa to protect the Hindus from the Muslim tyranny and oppression. Thus the Sikh gurus tried to revive the original spirit and teachings of Hinduism and tried to build a society which was moral, virtuous and strong. The basis of the tradition established by Shri Guru Nanak Dev is the Sanatana Dharma. The Guru had preached the message of Sanatana Dharma in the language of the masses, in order to raise the flagging spirits of Hindu society in a Punjab relentlessly overrun by Muslim invaders. The nectar-laden words of the nine Gurus who followed were also expressions of Sanatana Dharma. Every verse of the Shri Guru Granth Saheb is testimony to this fact.
In his autobiography Bachitra Natak, Shri Guru Govind Singh Dev has claimed that he was a descendant of Lord Rama's younger son Lava, and that Guru Nanak Dev was a descendant of Lord Rama's elder son Kusha (2/18-34, 2/52, 4/1-10 and 5/1-10). This statement is confirmed in several other authentic source-books of Sikhism. Many Sikh intellectuals, including Dr. Gopal Singh and Khushwant Singh have been expressing their views that Sikhism and Islam are close to each other and have much in common while the teachings of the Guru Granth Sahib indicate that the two religions are not only different but opposite. The Guru Granth Sahib Ji has 1430 pages, out of which the mention of Islam in some context or the other is found from page number 24 to page number 1412. The hymns of the Guru Granth Saheb which mention Islam may be divided into four categories - First, in which the atrocities committed by Babar and other Muslim rulers have been described; Second, in which an effort has been made to see the various Islamic practices such as Namaz, Roza, Haj, Halaal, etc. in the light of Vedanta; Third, in which Islam has been criticised and all have been advised to remain Hindus; and Fourth, in which Islamic concepts and beliefs have been directly or indirectly criticised. Those who think of Sikhism as a synthesis between Hinduism and Islam will probably be shocked to find Guru Nanak ji Himself claiming that the Kali Yuga was ushered in into India with the advent of Islam, in the poem "Makke-Madine di Goshti . In the same poem, the Guru

Ji refers to the Sufis Moinuddin Chishti (of Ajmer) and Shah Madar (of Makanpur) as imposters who were leading Hindus astray with the intention of converting them. Hindus and Sikhs are brothers of the same family. Clashes between the two would mean clashes within the family. Sikhs are the brothers of the family who took upon themselves the responsibility to protect the family. The other members of the family must show respect to these soldiers for the services rendered by them to the family. We cannot forget their contribution to India's freedom movement; nor can we forget that they were worst hit by the partition of our country in 1947 when it was their homeland Punjab which was torn apart and thousands of Sikhs were killed and many more uprooted from the land of their forefathers. But they chose to remain with India and the Hindus. Both the communities interdine, inter-marry, observe the same festivals and visit each other's places of worship. Differences between these communities are created by the politicians to meet their selfish purposes. Let us not allow the players of the power game to create a rift in our family.