A Different Perspective: Is Black Diwali the Khalsa’s Way to Protest?

English Summary of the Punjabi – Kali Diwali Black Diwali – Blowing out Candles will Save the Panth! Via: Gurmat Parchar

The Khalsa is known for its uniqueness in the world. Although its arrival on this earth was preordained the reason and circumstance for its formation was born from the martyrdom of Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib Jee. In a crowd of thousands; hundreds of ‘Sikhs’ stood witness to a spectacle that epitomized the Mughal tyranny (the Guru’s sacrifice). Nearly none of these Sikhs dared to profess their faith amongst the crowd – they became just that, a crowd.

Sri Guru Gobind Singh Jee sought to make the Sikhs into such that they would be recognizable in the masses. The Khalsa was made unique in every aspect. Any program that is given for the Khalsa by any leader or parcharak should take all of this into account.

The festivals and jorh mele of the Khalsa were set in the times of the Guru’s physical presence on this earth. The correct way to celebrate them and what not to do at these times was also discerned. For example, the famous Hindu festival of ‘Holi’ was changed to ‘Holla Mahalla’. And where it was celebrated according to caste, by drinking bhang (opium), dancing and romancing under the guise of religion our Guru Jee made it holy (Holee Keenee Sant Seva). The fort of Holgarh (Sri Anandpur Sahib( remains testimony to Guru Jee’s revolutionary strategy in which they turned this ‘airy fairy’ festival into a time of martial spirit and arms training.

Lets talk about Diwali, half of the preachers proposing a ‘Kali’ Diwali reject its historical importance and relate it solely to Hinduism. These people were not successful in removing the festival so are now attempting to degenerate it. The remaining preachers push (against the references of Bhai Gurdhas Sahib Jee etc) to call this festival ‘Bandi Chhorh’ Diwas – ‘Bandi Chhorh’ is an epithet referring to Akal Purakh Vaheguru and our Guru Sahibaan – will they be foolish enough to rename this day as ‘Kala’ Bandi Chhorh? As that will insult this name for Guru Jee.

Sadh Sangat Jee! The Beadbi of Guru Jee and the targeted murder of innocent Sikhs is of course extremely upsetting. Where we are all upset, we should be ashamed for our shortcomings. Banhee says that anything that we consume when our honour is tainted is ‘Haraam’ (Je Jeevai Path Lathee Jaaye..). But the Khalsa and the Khalsa’s ways should remain untouched for we are forever in Chardi Kala (high spirits)

1. Diwali was started as a Jorh Mela by Sri Guru Amardas Sahib Jee and then the tradition of ‘Deepmala’ (lighting candles) started at the return of Sri Guru Hargobind Sahib Jee from Gwalior Prison. The candles represent the love and devotion of the Sikhs for the return of their Guru, the ‘Bandhi Chhorh’ who freed the innocent captives and avenged the death of Sri Guru Arjan Dev Jee. Will the parcharaks not congratulate the sangat and use the appropriate ‘shabads’ in kirtan/katha for the sangat. If they will then why stop the Sangat’s candles.

2. The enemy always wants to see us defeated, negative and lost. Lighting or not Lighting Candles will not affect the enemy in anyway instead they will rejoice because as per their religious texts not having light or candles within ones’ house represents defeat and sadness. See Gurbanee: “but in that house of Raavan, the lamps and wicks have gone out. ||2|” (Ang 481). When Ravan was defeated humiliated and killed there was no candle or lamp in his house- are we accepting that upon ourselves, That Khalsa which was not defeated in Anandpur Sahib, Chamkaur or in Chando Kala or Bluestar etc is defeated now? What message does this convey and to who?

3. There is a method of mourning, sorrow and grief in each religion and culture. In the Hindu Culture people do not cook, comb their hair or light candles. (Many of us may have seen this Brahminic rituals in our own families). Are we Hindus? The Khalsa is always in Chardikala. If we accept the Hindu way then we should also imitate the ways of the west and lower our religious flags half-mast etc. We do not/ have never done this because we are our own Nation, with our own tradition and spirit.

4. The history of the Sikhs is full of Shaheedis, massacres etc. Sikhs are treated as slaves in their own homeland. That slavery has grown throughout the last thirty years and will continue until we gain freedom. In this period countless Singhs have become Shaheed and Satguru Jee’s Beadbi has occurred many times. So Can the Parcharaks elaborate when Diwali will be reinstated? How many Kali Diwalis before freedom? I hope their sorrow is not seasonal. Time frame is kindly required please. Can we celebrate Sri Guru Nanak Dev Jee’s Avtar Purb on November 25th?

5. I cannot see any leader like Sant Jarnail Singh who took on the responsibility of any such person who engages in Panthic Seva (fighting their cases etc) and thereafter their family. Why do the leaders not assure the sangat in the same way? Historically when was such a program given to the Kaum? And why should it be given now?

Although I am completely subservient to any command of the Sangat I appeal that any program that is given to the Panth raises its head high and leads us towards victory. Today’s conditions are both saddening and laughable, abandoning the traditions of the Khalsa to gain martyrdom in battle 100-150 Parcharaks collectively chose to ‘donate’ 1/1.5 Litres of blood medically to present to Badal – what does this show and achieve?

We are forsaking our Khalsa Values for ‘Gandhivaadh’ and ‘Shaanti’ (so called peace). Bhai Gurdas Jee sings the virtue of Gursikhs: “I am a sacrifice to those Sikhs who celebrates Gurpurbs with loving devotion” and here the sangat is encouraged to celebrate ‘Kaali Diwali’. Instead of such programmes the Gurdwaras should pledge that on Diwali day all funds raised in the golaks etc be used fruitfully in support of the Singhs involved in the struggle and the families of Shaheeds. It is easy to do a ‘Kaali Diwali’ but a ‘Khaalee Diwali’ Empty (financially) will really show the Gurdwara’s commitments. Cancel birthdays, weddings and all other happy occasions too. The enemy couldn’t care less if you do a black, white, purple or multi-colour diwali. The day we realize we are 1) slaves and 2) remove slavery from our minds we can work towards freedom.

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