With the greatest respect, I must disagree with this article.
For the record, I would like to say that I do not believe in the caste system, nor do I not condone it.
I am of the belief that we are now facing the bad crops we have planted by not teaching about the Sikh Dharma in any meaningful way. If we do it is pretty basic and if I may be so bold to say, incredibly trivial that it hardly registers on any level.
There are of course Organisations such as http://www.sikhcourse.com
that are up and coming and countering this successfully, and whilst i feel that they are moving in the right direction, they are few-and-far between and are still in their in preliminary stages. They need our support and financial assistance if we are to build establishments that have any real legacy for future generations.
As strange as this may sound, by actually teaching the Dharma issues such as caste would be reduced quite heavily anyway.
I liken this issue to Sikhs to demanding perfectly chiseled bodies, but feeding everyone junk food with a few carrots thrown in under the pretence of doing good and then actually being surprised when everyone turns out not as they expected. Instead of feeding them good food and inspiring them to look after themselves, we shout at them for being failures with regards to this, but fail to realise we were the cause even though we had everything at our disposal.
From my angle, Sikhi does not really have any relevance in their lives, generally speaking of course, and as a result are currently becoming disillusioned with the Dharma leading to the decline that the article speaks of. Not the Caste system.
Instead of acknowledging the reality we have created, we seem to be looking for an escape, something external to blame that is apparently out of our control, and have come up with the caste system which is quite sad really.
Sikhs are exposed to Caste as much as the Muslims but one does not hear them complaining of this matter on such a scale. Yet with respect to their Deen i find them to be firmly connected, especially their children, whilst Sikhs are still trying to establish it, dispite having a lot more finance in hand. My perception of course.
Many may ask why and when one sees Muslim children streaming out of Islamic teaching centres the reason becomes clear as day. These people care about their children’s spiritual upbringing as they understand the consequences of not doing so.
Sikhs are yet to get to this level.
(Please note my objective is not to make Islam the point of the discussion. I am simply using this as example).
Had we kept our Gurdawarae small in size and spent all that money on teaching the Dharma with relevance to people i sincerely doubt we would be facing what we are facing today.
With respect to the issue, if i may speak frankly, i see the talks about the abolishment of caste system as purely an idealistic pursuit as there is not really any meaning behind our words. No doubt i will have angered many, but my perception is that as a collective we do not really have a solid spiritual core like others and are simply suffering from delusions of grandeur by continually speaking of this matter, much like human rights and so forth.
Reading the Guru Granth Sahib, it teaches that one should have a balanced state of mind. Equanimtous if you will that is firm, steady and perfectly poised. It should be naturally relaxed and even as one actually sees everything as it is. Anything else and ones mind would infact be aiming to reach conclusions with a distorted view and not even realise it.
We are all Humans at the end of the day and it is only us who place value on others.
Everyone deserves the same level of respect and dignity irrespective of the differences we can dig out.
Galī jog na ho▫ī.
By mere words, Yoga is not attained.
Ėk ḏarisat kar samsar jāṇai jogī kahī▫ai so▫ī. ||1|| rahā▫o.
One who looks upon all with a single eye, and knows them to be one and the same - he alone is known as a Yogi. ||1||Pause||
Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ang 730
My best regards,
"Chirian to mein baaz tudaun, Gidran to mein sher banaun, Sawa lakh se ek ladaun,
Tabe Gobind Singh Naam kahaun."