Monday, May 07, 2012

Episode 4 of India Travels: Panjab goes Kesri

Passages from my diary of my trip to India, April 2012:

On the way from Gurdaspur to Jalandhar, I saw so many trucks, buses, cars and motorcycles with kesri (orange) flags. Going through the different villages you could see people had kesri flags with Khande flying from their homes and shops. Apparently on the 28th March the whole of Panjab had turned Kesri. However, with the stormy weather some of the flags had fallen down and others had been taking down as they were put up for just a few days. Also I was told that at night time Shiv Sena and Bajrang Dal activists took down a lot of flags so that things can be played down. Apparently most of these Shiva Sena and Bajrang Dal activists are immigrants from Bihar who have little connection or links to Sikhi, as Hindu Panjabis have respect for Sikhi. 

When I went to Guru Tegh Bahadar Nagar Gurdwara in Jalandhar I saw Rajaona stickers on the walls. A lot of vehicles had similar stickers stuck on the back rear screens. It was impressive to see how the Kesri Lehar (movement) had spread across Panjab as a result of the media and Internet.

There is one Gursikh shopkeeper who sells Dastaar material. Every time I go to his shop he is very happy seeing Gursikhs. He is amazed that so many youngsters in the West are adopting Gurmat and Rehat. He has other customers from abroad who are Gursikhs and come to his shop dressed in Baanaa (Khalsa uniform), which makes him realise how far back Panjab has gone in its Sikhi. He becomes very emotional seeing Gursikhs.

Bhai Sahib told me that all of Panjab has gone Kesri and youngsters are holding Kesri flags etc. I told him how I was amazed that so many shops in Jalandhar had Kesri flags flying. However, he said that the youngsters and the people of Panjab who wave these flags have little knowledge of Sikhi. He said the majority of protesters who airing slogans and waving Kesri flags are cut-haired young people who have become very emotional (quite rightly so) however no one is addressing the issue that those same youngsters and the rest of Panjab are addicted to drugs, alcohol, have no knowledge of Gurmat, Gurbani and Sikh history. For these reasons he said he was not holding up his hopes by the rise of Kesri flags in Panjab.He said the best Lehar is a Lehar of knowledge through educating the people of Panjab about Gurbani and inspiring them with Gurmat.

Dhan Hai Guru! Dhan Hai Teree Sikhee!

1 comment:

Amit Patel said...

Panjab is very beautiful state in india and this the greenest place in india.
Thank you,
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