Before beginning the analysis of this book, let us first acquaint ourselves with the Sikh ethos. Over the years, they have been galvanised by the sacrifices of their gurus, their daily prayers called ardas, their ten gurus and their religious book called the Guru Granth Sahib. Their history is replete with incidents of martyrdom when their religion came under attack.
Jat Sikhs take to firearms and turn vengeful if attacked. Akali politics is also complete with intrigues and squabbles. The basic teachings of Sikhism include:
Adoption of the Sikh code of conduct (rahit) in the bonds of unity.
Acceptance of the corporate community (panth) as their guru and to serve it with loyal devotion.
Propagation of the guru'steachings to the world.
Acceptance of the affection of all Nanak Panthis as adherents to Sikh religion and treatment of all people with respect and sympathy.
Observance of all rituals in the gurdwaras.
The author of the book, however, thinks that ?the threat to Sikh identity does not emanate from amorphous Hinduism, but the modern technology?. His view is that present-day life is leading to religious fundamentalism and revivalism by way of reaction and reassertion and the ?issues of Ayotullah Khomeini of Islam and such cults as Hare Krishna and Hare Rama in the West are manifestations of the same religious reaction to the modern materialism.?
The author further asserts that the ?distant religious identity claimed by the Sikhs cannot be annulled,? and goes on to describe the birth and growth of Khalistan, Bhindranwale, assassination of Indira Gandhi and police counter-violence to terrorist attacks. He suggests that the Punjab terrorists, if they wish to succeed, need to arrive ?at an agreement with Al-Qaeda for which negotiations so far have not succeeded,? and wonders if the political leadership, with numerous terrorist outfits hibernating in Pakistan and northern India, is resolute enough to ?face their challenges hands on and heads on!?
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