It is certainly nothing new, watching the political horse races and seasonal breaking and making of alliances that spring is in the air, ripe for another Punjab power grab.
Nevertheless though, that Vaisakhi heralds a renewal of commitment and deep spiritual rebirth for the Khalsa Panth, the same does not bode for its empty and morally bankrupt spiritual and political leadership. That the Khalsa had been endowed by the tenth Guru with the mantle of responsible and just leadership of the Panth based on the sound teachings of the ten Gurus seems to be a foreign concept and at most is paid lip service to most Sikhs in power today.
The current Sikh leadership’s lack of integrity poorly reflects in the eyes of the public as the former is bent more on the accumulation of fantastic wealth by often corrupt means, personal gratification and distinction, fulfilling an ambition for absolute power and currying the favor of those who will grant them perks now and line their pockets later. Indeed, disturbingly, at the cost of integrity and conscience, at the cost of the sacred trust they hold with the public to serve the Sangat and the state of Punjab, these entities sell themselves for a few pieces of silver and for a boost to their egos. By jading the public’s confidence in its leaders, they unwittingly only undermines their own power base and in the case of the Jathedars, their own believability and trust in the institution of the Akal Takhat itself.
To the leaders of the Sikhs, it behooves them to return to the roots of their original purpose. In this spirit please take time to listen to the following advice.
For the Jathedars who supposedly lead us, the Sangat has this message: remember your duty! Lead by example. Make sound decisions based on the Khalsa tradition and rehet, impartial evidence, witnessed testimony and on the teachings of the Gurus. Let it not be based on political expediency and paltry personal favors. Then, observe these decisions yourselves on a daily basis publicly and privately. The quality of the Khalsa is to be one inside and out of belief and deed. Meet the Sangat humbly and respectfully everywhere, obtain its counsel and address its concerns. Do not be threatened by the questions of its members. Feedback helps you do your job better and keeps you honest. The Sangat had the right to ask the Guru anything, and it certainly has the right to question you. The collective body of the Khalsa Sangat is the Guru Panth. Be at its feet, serve the body Khalsa only, not special interests and sycophants and keep at an arms length from anti-Sikh elements. If you do not change for the better, the Panth will decisively trounce you. That you can count on.
For the Sikh political leaders of the Punjab: your job is special. Punjab is not just any state. In your trust is also the sacred land of the Sikh Gurus. By your culture of past and neglect, Punjab and its people are slowly suffocating. Make alliances with sound peer groups. Distance yourselves from people who have by history shown their aptitude for undermining the Sikh spirit. Keep the needs of all your honest constituents first and foremost when you begin your term whatever their background, status, gender or faith. Address their concerns fairly and honestly, allow for healthy debate, and draft and enforce laws that serve the greater good in a timely manner. Protect the interests of the Punjab state in which the greater international Panth also has an important stake and not just your own selfish ones. Home grown, grassroots savvy individuals, tired of your rule of corruption, wait in the wings to unceremoniously unseat you.
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