Growing Respect For Sikhs And Their Religion Among Hindus In Delhi

I have noticed a significant increase in the number of Hindus coming to the Gurudwara Bangla Sahib.

By Dr. Sawraj Singh

Over the last few years I have frequently gone to Delhi because I am on the guest Faculty of the Short Term Course on Guru Granth Sahib given in Delhi. Over the years, I have noticed growing respect for the Sikhs and their religion among the Hindus in Delhi.

The course on Guru Granth Sahib is given by the Gurmat College Delhi. It emphasizes Secularism and Universality. Harinderpal Singh, Chairman of the college repeatedly points out that the main purpose of the course is Universal interpretation of the philosophy of Guru Granth Sahib. Bhawna Malik, who is a very dedicated scholar of Guru Granth Sahib and a great teacher, belongs to a Hindu family. However, some Hindu students decide to become Sikhs after taking the course.

A student just called me and told me that he is a 58 years old man from Delhi who took the course. His name was Prabhu Dyal. He now calls himself Prabhu Dyal Singh. He was so impressed by the message of Guru Granth Sahib that he has decided to become a Sikh and spread the message by reciting Gurbani by Shabad Kirtan. He is learning to play harmonium and tabla. His family is joining in his efforts. His two grandsons have also become Sikhs. The Gurudwara in his Mohalla (neighborhood) was illegally occupied by some people. He mobilized the people and they formed a committee and freed the Gurudwara from the illegal occupation. They want to spread the message of Guru Granth Sahib from the Gurudwara Sahib.

I have noticed a significant increase in the number of Hindus coming to the Gurudwara Bangla Sahib. I also see some Hindu young people engaged in performing Seva like washing the Parkarma and distributing food with great dedication and enthusiasm even at the late hours of night. These trends have contributed in making the Gurudwara Bangla Sahib the most visited place by the tourists in Delhi.

A young girl asked me the way to the Langar in the Gurudwara Sahib. She told me that she is a Hindu girl and has come to a Gurudwara for the first time. She said that she is doing her PHD in a Delhi University in social sciences and she was very impressed by the Sikh philosophy. She felt that the Langar is a great concept of social equality and that is why she wants to have this experience.

Some Hindus also condemned the Delhi police for beating an auto driver and his son and for showing disrespect for the turban. A very religious Hindu young woman said that the Sikhs have done a great service to the country and played a very important role in protecting the Hindu religion. She said that turban should be a great symbol of respect for us and she was very saddened when she saw the Delhi Police showing disrespect to the turban.

My son took a course in Delhi and stayed with a very well educated and quite well placed Hindu family as a paying guest. He was moved with the love and respect the family showed him. He said that frequently they talked about the great contribution made by the Sikhs for the country and in protecting the Hindu religion on the dinner table.

Dr. Sawraj Singh, MD F.I.C.S. is the Chairman of the Washington State Network for Human Rights and Chairman of the Central Washington Coalition for Social Justice. He can be reached at [email protected].

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