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Friday, July 12, 2024

The roots of Khalistani separatism and fascination with exclusivist monotheism

Khalistan movement is undoubtedly the most buzzing word these days. We have seen how government has started crack down against the Khalistani extremists, which is attracting attentions from western countries as well. Indian missions and embassies are being attacked by Khalistani elements and government has been in touch with the respective nations to initiate criminal proceedings against the accused.

Khalistan movement origins lie in Sikh separatism. This comes from 1898 Tat Khalsa Singh Sabha of Lahore whose slogan was “Ham Hindu Nahin” (we are not Hindus). That is the only basis. Yet the roots lie in 19th century Hindu reformation movements with India’s very on Luther.

Dayandanda founded the Arya Samaj to cleanse Hinduism of what he saw as post-Vedic accretions which had led to caste system, idol worship, superstition and self-serving power of priests and scam artists. Originally established in Bombay, the original Samaj foundered.

However it met with great success in Punjab where many prominent freedom fighters such as Lala Lajpat Rai, Ajit Singh and Swami Shraddhanda. Arya Samaj met with such success in Punjab was due to the distinctive social brew in that part of India.

The conquest by the British had led to massive efforts by Christian missionaries to convert that region. While targeting the so-called untouchable castes with offers of free food and schooling, the missionaries also converted prominent landed families of Sikhs.

These included Raja Harnam Singh of the princely house of Kapurthala. Of course Maharaja Dalip Singh, who was shipped off to England along with the Kohinoor diamond, and converted to Christianity.

Arya Samaj helped to brainwash the Hindu mind into accepting that monotheism was a higher ideal. Everything else was superstition, backward, or the means by which a devious priestcraft kept the masses ignorant. Dayananda was very much the Martin Luther of India.

In 1888 Giani Ditt Singh devoted his full time activities to the Sikh reform sect Singh Sabha. Yet for many years he had also been in the Arya Samaj, and was originally known as Ditt Ram Vedanti. Both Ditt Singh and Jawahir Singh Kapur had joined Arya Samaj in 1877.

following meetings with Dayananda, they became preachers for him. Ditt Singh left to join Singh Sabha in 1888. Jawahir Singh joined him, but not before having served as secretary of the Lahore Arya Samaj and promoter of that city’s Dayananda Anglo-Vedic College.

We now see attempts to make Sikhism a separate monotheistic faith from Hinduism by efforts of the Lahore Singh Sabha; similar to how Arya Samaj held itself to be the authentic original pure Hinduism or Arya Dharm, as distinct from the idol worshipping popes of Sanatan Hinduism

Ram Swarup on page 111 of his book ‘Hindu View of Christianity and Islam’: During the days of Islamic and Christian rule, Hindus tried to cope with the situation in several ways.

First, they tried to ‘reform’ themselves and be like their rulers; they claimed that Hinduism already had all the ‘virtues’ of Christianity and Islam – one God, a revealed Book, and prophets.

(This article has been compiled from the tweet thread posted by @RanbirS11414092 on March 20, 2023, with minor edits to improve readability and conform to HinduPost style guide)

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