Tuesday, May 2, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Sikh scholars oppose RSS move
From Gurpreet Singh
Tribune News Service

FEROZEPORE, May 1 — The proposed translation of certain controversial texts of the Dasam Granth by the Rashtriya Sikh Sangat, a wing of the RSS, has raised many an eyebrow.

A section of the Sikh scholars opposed to the move is particularly agitated at the proposed translation of the two chapters, “Bachittar Natak” and “Chandi di Vaar”, in various languages. These scholars view it as an attempt by the RSS to assimilate the Sikhs into the Hindu fold by translating the two chapters, which project Guru Gobind Singh as a descendant of Lord Rama and a disciple of Chandi goddess.

Even as Sikh radicals have raised a banner of revolt against the “Sikh agenda” of the RSS, liberals among the clergy and other scholars are cautious in their reaction. This is mainly because they do not want to be identified with the radicals.

Pleading anonymity, these scholars say that the RSS should not meddle into the Sikh affairs by using controversial Dasam Granth to their advantage. They also accused the Sikh radicals of making it a political issue and advocated research to resolve the matter.

Making it clear that the entire Dasam Granth could not be attributed to Guru Gobind Singh, they said not all its chapters subscribed to the Sikh philosophy. They pointed out that contrary to Guru Gobind Singh’s ideology, the granth encouraged belief in reincarnation, gods and goddesses, giving the RSS a tool to project the Sikhs as part of the Hindu society. They also differed with the story in “Bachittar Natak” that projected Guru Gobind Singh as the descendant of Lav and Kush — the two sons of Lord Rama. Terming this as a folklore, they warned that the issue might divide the Hindus and the Sikhs.

Significantly, former Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Puran Singh had also become a target of attack from the radicals for describing the Sikhs as descendants of Lav and Kush. He too, had quoted the Dasam Granth.

“From its language and grammar, too, one can judge that the entire text is not written by the Guru him self”, one scholar pointed out.

The scholars apprehended that an attempt was being made to project the Dasam Granth as a parallel scripture of the Sikhs. “Only Granth Sahib is our Guru”, they said adding, “when Guru Gobind Singh himself desired the Sikhs to treat Granth Sahib as their master, how the Dasam Granth can be accorded a similar honour”?, they questioned.

“The issue has a lot of undercurrent and is expected to divide the community just as the Nanakshahi calendar did”, they feared.

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