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Baba Hardev Singh: The Bhakti Guru

God, who is One, omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient, eternal, formless, a non-psychic objective reality and perceivable.

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Baba Hardev Singh, Image credits: nirankari.org
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On 13th May, Baba Hardev Singh, head of the Nirankari Mission, was killed in a car accident in Canada at 5 am (IST). He was there to attend a Nirankari International Samagam (NIS) which was scheduled to be held in June in Toronto, Canada.

Here are few facts about him to know the Nirankari-sect Guru better and about his philosophies on Bhakti and humanity-

  • Baba Hardev Singh was born on February 23, 1954 to Gurbachan Singh and Kulwant Kaur in Delhi. He was fortunate enough to be raised in such a divine family.Inheriting the spiritual blessings of his grandparents Satguru Baba Avtar Singh Ji and Jagat Mata Budhwanti Ji, Hardev Ji developed a great sense of respect towards nature and its creation from his very childhood.
  • His elementary education began at home. With his sharp intellectual mind, he became a fast learner. Later he was sent to Rosary Public school, Sant Nirankari Colony, Delhi. Anxiety and anger never touched his life. Even the teachers and his fellow classmates were captivated by his humble nature, intelligence and his respect towards elders.
  • Later Hardev Ji was sent to a very renowned residential Yadvendra school, Patiala for his high school education in the year 1969.
  • During his schooldays, he developed a keen interest in mountaineering which sowed the seeds of patience and perseverance in his life. However, his other hobbies include horse riding, photography, and driving.
  • After completing his high school studies he returned to Delhi and became admitted in Delhi University. With his interest towards socio-spiritual activities,he became very regular in Congregations and Sewa. Popularly known as ‘Bhola Ji’ Hardev Ji further joined the Nirankari Sewa Dal as its primary member.

Related article:  The devotee who spread the nectar of Bhakti

  • In 1975, Baba Hardev Singh was married to Savinder Ji (daughter of Shri Gurumukh Singh and Smt. Madan Ji of Farrukhabad, Uttar Pradesh). Savinder Kaur is now known as ‘Pujya Mata’ by devotees of the Mission.
  • After the death of Shri Gurbachan Singh Baba Hardev Singh was appointed as the new spiritual head of the Nirankari mission. True to his trust and devotees, Baba Hardev Singh became a perfect spiritual master. He guided all his devotees to spread the voice of truth while praying for goodwill for all.
  • Baba undertook several tours within the country and abroad. Went to the remotest areas and harboured the seeds of love, peace, and humanity. He used to travel by roads and met people with intensive love and care. Showing special interest in the youth living abroad, he enlightened everyone regarding Indian ethics and cultures.
Sant Nirankari Samagam, Wikimedia commons
Sant Nirankari Samagam, Wikimedia commons
  • Taking the mission to new heights, Hardev Ji showed the world his will and power of his divine presence and made this mission a mass movement of God-Knowledge and Universal Brotherhood. In 1987 (on the occasion of Manav Ekta Diwas), several blood camps were organised by the Niranki mission. Santosh Sarovar complex was made which adds to the greenery to Delhi’s ecology. The Mission also proposes to have a general hospital.
Inauguration of the hospital, Image credits: nirankari.org
Inauguration of the hospital, Image credits: nirankari.org
  • The Nirankari mission has never been orthodox to scientific developments. It emphasizes the need of technological growth as a need for human welfare. Above all caste, colour and creed, the mission believes in God, who is One, omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient, eternal, formless, a non-psychic objective reality and perceivable.
  • According to Baba Ji “The Sant Nirankari Mission is an all-embracing spiritual movement dedicated to human welfare. It endorses Realization of Fatherhood of God through the living Satguru is the goal of human life and along by we achieve Brotherhood & peace which is the need of humanity and for the progress of mankind.”

Prepared by Pritam

Pritam is a 3rd year engineering student in B.P. Poddar institute of management and technology, Kolkata. A simple person who tries to innovate and improvise himself. Twitter handle @pritam_gogreen

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India Can Really Take An Ostrich Approach To The Condition Of Women?

A total of 548 global experts on women’s issues , 43 of them from India

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BJP Leader Asks Parents Of A Rape Victim To Express Gratitude To Them
Can India Really Take An Ostrich Approach To The Condition Of Women?. Flickr

-By Deepa Gahlot

You read with a mixture of alarm and scepticism, the poll report by the London-based Thomson Reuters Foundation that India is the most dangerous country in the world for women, beating Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.

According to reports, a total of 548 global experts on women’s issues — 43 of them from India — were asked about risks faced by women in six areas: healthcare, access to economic resources and discrimination, customary practices, sexual violence, nonsexual violence, and human trafficking. And shockingly, India comes out as the worst!

We see women progressing in every field in India, but, there is also the increasing violence against women and young girls reported every day; not long ago, female tourists felt safe in India; but now, women travelling solo are constantly targeted. Everyday there are reports of the rapes and murders of minor girls, often accompanied by unimaginable torture and mutilation.

There has been outrage in India, and also holes punctured in the survey that has such a small number of respondents, but can we really take an ostrich approach to the condition of women? Even as education and healthcare improve for women — at least in metro cities — the contempt for women is socially and culturally ingrained in the Indian psyche. In a city like Mumbai considered progressive and relatively safe for women, the girl child is unwanted even by many educated and wealthy families. In spite of laws being in place, female foeticide and infanticide is rampant, to the extent that there are large territories where there are no girl children and brides for the men have to be ‘imported’ from other states.  As dowry murders and rapes rise, the more unwanted the girl child becomes.  The fact is that India’s gender ratio is deplorable.

And if the male child is valued over the girl child, he grows up believing that he is special and if he is thwarted in any way, he can resort to violence. In spite of education and exposure to progressive ideas, in the case of rape or sexual violence, the tendency to blame and shame the victim persists.

To give just one small example, in the West, accusations of sexual harassment resulted in united shunning of a man as powerful as Harvey Weinstein and many others in the wake of the #MeToo movement, that helped many women speak out about their experiences.

In India, Malayalam actor Dileep, who has been accused in the abduction and rape of an actress, and was boycotted by the Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes (AMMA), was recently reinstated. This caused shock and dismay among women in the film industry.

A statement by a group of over 150 women film practitioners says it like it is, “A body that is meant to represent artistes of the Malayalam movie industry showed complete disregard for its own member who is the victim of this gross crime. Even before the case has reached its conclusion, AMMA has chosen to validate a person accused of a very serious crime against a colleague. We condemn this cavalier attitude by artistes against women artistes who are working alongside them. There is misogyny and gender discrimination embedded in this action.

“We admired and supported the Women in Cinema Collective that was formed by women film artistes in Kerala in the aftermath of the abduction and molestation of a colleague, a top star in the industry. We applaud the WCC members who have walked out of AMMA to protest the chairman’s invitation to reinstate the accused. We pledge our continued support to the Women in Cinema Collective who are blazing a trail to battle sexism in the film industry.

“Cinema is an art form that can challenge deeply entrenched violence and discrimination in society. It is distressing to see an industry that stands amongst the best in the country and has even made a mark in world cinema choose to shy away from using their position and their medium responsibly at this important moment. Today, women form a significant part of the film and media industries, we reject any attempt at silencing us and making us invisible.”

The Gujarat elections have brought the BJP and the Congress in close contest with each other.
Indian women. VOA

The preference for male children has had some unexpected ramifications. In a working paper published by the American non-profit, National Bureau of Economic Research, by Northwestern University’s Seema Jayachandran and Harvard University’s Rohini Pande (quoted in Quartz Media), finds that stunting in Indian children could also be blamed on the cultural preference for sons.

“In India, on average, the first child — if he is a son — doesn’t suffer from stunting. But, if the first — and so the eldest — child of the family is a girl, she suffers from a height deficit. And, then, if the second child is a boy, and hence the eldest son of the family, he will not be stunted. This happens because of an unequal allocation of resources to the first child”.

According to the report, “When Jayachandran and Pande compared India and Africa results through this lens, they found that the Indian first and eldest son tends to be taller than an African firstborn. If the eldest child of the family is a girl, and a son is born next, the son will still be taller in India than Africa. For girls, however, the India-Africa height deficit is large. It is the largest for daughters with no older brothers, probably because repeated attempts to have a son takes a beating on the growth of the girls.”

Also read: Has Legal Framework Turned a Blind Eye towards Under-representation of Women in Indian Politics?

In spite of all the Beti Padhao, Beti Bachao rhetoric, the required shift in the male-centric attitude towards a more egalitarian one is simply not happening; or, it is a case of one step forward, two steps backward. The Thomson Reuters Foundation report may be unfair and skewed, but being known as the rape capital of the world does nothing to improve the image of India in the world or even in its own eyes. (IANS)