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The relationship between Hindus and Sikhs
Many Hindus, particularly on the Right pole of politics, consider Sikhism to be a sect of Hinduism and consequently Sikhs to be just other Hindus. While Sikhism does have a strong relationship with Hinduism, the fact is that Sikhs are not Hindus; neither by belief nor the way they follow their dharma.

The following of Kakars along with Sikhs primarily worshipping their holy book distance them somewhat from Hindus. Moreover, Sikhism has relationship with Islam as well despite of Sikhs' troubled history with Islam and Muslims. The last Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind, formally founded the Khalsa which was in some form or other present since the days of Guru Nanak.

I have never seen Sikhism's holiest book, Guru Granth Sahib; considered to be the eleventh eternal Guru of Sikhism by many Sikhs, through naked eyes nor do I know Sikh history but I think that I am objective enough to write about them a bit on social matters.

The fact is that Sikhism was founded as a reaction towards atrocities of Mughals done against Hindus. Many Sikh Gurus fought a war with Mughals. There was also demand of some reform among Hindus, particularly among the Kshatriya community, in those days. Even in modern times, in weak sense though, the urge to contain Muslims has remained a centerpiece of Hindu-Sikh common social equations and also a touchstone of Sikhs' loyalty towards India.

I distinctly remember, if I could borrow from my memory, my family always telling me to sit in a tempo driven by a Sikh in case of Hindu-Muslim riot. The fact is that Lucknow, my city, is very decent place and even in the hot days of Ramajanambhoomi campaign the riots between Hindus and Muslims never took place there. I would never believe my family's advice, anyway.

I do not believe in stereotypism nor do I categorize and fixate Muslims negatively in any way. But back to Hindu-Sikh social question: the fact is that during the partition of British India, Sikhs protected many Hindus and also notoriously took revenge from Muslims against their atrocities towards them and Hindus. It is also true that Sikhs have been mainstreamers, except many among them during two troubled decades in Punjab.

Most of the Sikhs then living in India outside Punjab were opposed to the demand of seceding from Indian Union and form their own nation; Khalistan. On the other hand many Hindus also reciprocate to the hospitality and jubilance of Sikhs in the past and present; in public and in private. They consider Sikhs to be as close to them as they consider Jain to be. This opinion has also survived the test of time.

Noted Sikh writer Khushwant Singh, however, wrote in a daily published from Delhi and Lucknow in nineties of the last century that Sikhs after so many causalities and disturbing and troubled history vis-a-vis Muslims have forgotten enmity with them but not Hindus, despite of the latter being so dominant. While this may be the fact for many Sikhs though I am not certain about a significant majority among them as many Sikhs are still not comfortable with many Muslims.

Inside India Sikhs do not act like buffer between Hindus and Muslims; frankly speaking this is disallowed, nor can they all forget their history. However, I can accept Mr. Singh's contention statistically on theoretical ground though I am not sure about what is reality in practice at broad level. But then there is great difference between a huge supermajority and a thin minority.

For many Hindus partition was unfortunate though in my opinion it served maximum the purpose of respective majorities in India and Pakistan and has also helped stabilized the region. The decision and its execution has stopped constant bloodshed and avoided a certain civil war in the subcontinent if India and Pakistan were to remain united in the post-Soviet, postconscious era.

Anyway, Hindu majority just cannot change its opinion so easily. Now Sikh in any distant future cannot dream about their homeland. Most of the Sikhs, I believe, do not aspire for it anyway. I have a personal opinion that they do not require it either. But I would suggest Sikhs to always remain a mainstreamer community and that they should never consider themselves to be belonging to a minority community as they are numerical minority but not psychological minority.

And if the RSS or any part of saffron family calls them Hindus then they should not get upset beyond a point. It is a gesture of affection though at the same time it is somewhat derogatory from very faithful' point of view.

In the end, Sikhs do not have to take position against Muslims in order to prove friendliness towards Hindus. Things have changed a lot in the consumerism-led high consciousness era. Both Hindus and Sikhs need to understand this. But then they should continue their good relationship without there being a common hate object.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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