Recently, a video went viral, wherein the user shared their personal experience of feeling uncomfortable and unwelcome at a Gurdwara due to the presence of divisive posters and hate-driven speeches. The video struck a chord with many, as it highlighted the growing concern about the erosion of Sikhi’s core values in some Gurdwaras. It is time for the Sikh community to address these issues and restore the true essence of their faith, ensuring that Gurdwaras remain sanctuaries of spiritual growth for all.
The Sikh faith is based on the principles of love, equality, and service to humanity. At the heart of this faith lies the sacred scripture, Guru Granth Sahib, which contains the divine teachings of the ten Sikh Gurus. However, recent times have witnessed a worrying trend in some Gurdwaras where the core values of Sikhi are being overshadowed by divisive ideologies and political agendas. This has resulted in alienating young Sikhs and their families from attending these religious institutions.
One alarming issue is the display of posters promoting Khalistan, a separate Sikh state, along with images of terrorists and militants, in some Gurdwaras. The presence of these posters not only instils fear and confusion among the younger generation but also creates an environment of hostility and mistrust, which is contrary to the teachings of Guru Granth Sahib.
Another instance was the shooting at the Gurudwara in Sacramento, where two were injured. (LA Times)
Moreover, it has been reported that certain individuals in charge of these Gurdwaras use their positions to preach hate against other religions and to incite animosity against India. This is a far cry from the message of universal brotherhood and tolerance that the Sikh Gurus advocated. Their teachings emphasize the importance of respecting all faiths, as they believe that all paths ultimately lead to the same divine truth.
Additionally, there are concerns about the misuse of donations made to these Gurdwaras. Instead of being used for the welfare of the community and promoting the values of Sikhi, the funds are allegedly channelled towards spreading disharmony against India. This not only tarnishes the image of the Sikh faith but also undermines the very principles upon which it was founded.
To address these issues, the Sikh community must come together to rekindle the true spirit of Sikhi in our Gurdwaras. This includes removing any divisive elements and promoting an atmosphere of love, unity, and inclusivity. Education about the Guru Granth Sahib and the core tenets of Sikhi should be prioritized, so that the younger generation can develop a strong bond with their faith and derive inspiration from its teachings.
Community leaders must also ensure that the management of Gurdwaras is transparent and adheres to the principles of Sikhi. This includes ensuring that donations are utilized for the betterment of the community and in spreading the message of love, peace, and service to humanity.
It is the responsibility of the entire Sikh community to ensure that Gurdwaras remain sanctuaries of spiritual growth, where the teachings of the Guru Granth Sahib are upheld and celebrated. By embracing the true essence of Sikhi, we can create a nurturing environment that will encourage the younger generation to visit Gurdwaras and learn from the wisdom of our Gurus, so that they can carry forward the legacy of this beautiful faith.