op-ed

Sunday’s MASSIVE BRAWL At A Sikh Temple In Indiana Is Giving All North American Sikhs A Bad Name

Sikhism is the fifth-largest organized religion in the world, with more than 23 million followers. It originated in the Punjab region of northern India in the early 15th century.

Every April, millions of Sikhs world-wide celebrate Vaisakhi Day, a day that marks the New Year. Vaisakhi Day is considered one of the most important festivals in the Sikh calendar. Parades celebrating the event are held in Sikh communities around the world.

Sikh means “disciple” or “learner” in Sanskrit. Founded on the teachings of the guru Nanak, the faith grew in the region during the time of this first guru (teacher) and nine subsequent Sikh gurus.

The teachings of the gurus and other writings compose the Guru Granth Sahib ji, the holy scripture of the Sikh faith. Among other writings, this scripture includes about 3,000 poetic compositions, many of them hymns.

Tenth Guru (Master) baptized Sikhs and they must wear the Five Ks, or articles of faith, at all times. The five items are: Kes (uncut hair), Kangha (small comb), Kara (circular iron bracelet), Kirpan (dagger) and Kaccherra (special undergarment). The Five Ks have both practical and symbolic purposes. But due to different laws and regulations in different countries, Sikhs cannot carry all five items all the time.

So, they keep fighting for their rights.

Factions of Sikh residents who worship at a Sikh temple in the suburbs of Indianapolis have been feuding for weeks. This feud erupted into a massive fight involving a group of over 100 men group of men on Sunday afternoon.

Some of these men were fighting with swords.

Others attempted to pull each other’s beards.

The disputes at the Greenwood Temple are about the leadership elections which are conducted every two years at the Gurdwara Shri Guru HarGobind Sahib Ji temple.

This is reportedly the second time a management leadership fight has taken place at the temple.

The bloody fights at the temple have adversely affected the image of Sikhs.

Also, groups of Sikhs had a bloody fight inside the sacred place.

What are we trying to teach our next generation of North American-born Sikhs?

Guru Gobind Singh taught that “in the family of God there is no caste, no high or low, no sect. The only caste is that of humanity.”

Guru Gobind Singh did not say “This person is Sikh, that one is Hindu, or the other person is Muslim.”

Instead, he said, “Recognize all human beings as one. You are all sisters and brothers. Let all humanity be recognized as one. God put His light in everyone. No one is an enemy and no one is a stranger.”

Are the Sikhs following Guru’s message?

They’re too busy fighting.

The fights are a wakeup call for the Sikh community to learn a lesson and make way for the new generations to come forward and take control.

Only those who build a Sikh place of worship. should be allowed to run its affairs.

There shouldn’t be any voting or changing the management agenda, so there’s no risk of a fight to dethrone the management or trustees.

No fighting to attain higher positions should keep the Sikh community in peace and harmony.

Surjit Singh Flora is a prolific freelance writer and a practicing Sikh. Follow him on Twitter @floracanada.


The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.