WHY I SUPPORTED THE SIKH MANIFESTO. Via Mankamal Singh from the UK
As part of the battle against the negative energy and skepticism within our community, you find you constantly come up against the same opinions that are used as a barricade to progressive thinking.
In reality, Sikhs as individuals have a great entrepreneurial streak and a tenacity to succeed but that does not consolidate upwards to a Panthic level. Individuals feel empowered, probably driven by personal gain, but when it comes to the Panth (the collective Sikh Community) that same level of empowerment is not yet transpiring.
The fault does lie with the underdeveloped leadership platforms we currently have. I am a small part of that in the UK and fully aware of the culture/flaws at leadership level. I fully accept my responsibility for being part of that current leadership but I refuse to accept responsibility for us remaining that way.
When the idea of the Sikh Manifesto first came about, like many other like minded Sikhs, we saw this as a great strategy to empower the UK Sikh community and Gurdwaras to engage in the UK Political system and create partnerships with democratic institutions. We knew the challenges, but felt as a 70 year old migrant community with the heritage of Miri Piri,
we deserved to be aligning local and central government with our ethos.
I have come to the conclusion that within the Sikh community there is clear distinction between a panthic and non panthic individual. Unless you have been part of the contribution or have an attachment to the distinct ethos of the Gurus, I don’t think you will ever get it.
You can sit in Sikh organisations, be in a committee of a Gurdwara, be a Facebook/Twitter warrior, be a striving politician but unless you identify with the living Panth you always remain a spectator and freeloader who is simply capitalising on a great lecacy.
I am not sharing this post to blow my own trumpet, I am fortunate to be surrounded by many Panthic Sikhs who are committed, innovative and progressive, but there needs to be more of them and more progressive work streams such as the Sikh Manifesto.
Scrap the Sikh Jathebhandis, Organisations, Forums and Councils and replace them with collaborative projects and see the difference!