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Chabeel Day: Sikhs mark Guru Arjan Dev’s 410th martyrdom day by serving sweet drinks

This summer, when people will be feeling a little hot and tired, Sikhs will be there to spread positive energy

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Chabeel Day
Chabeel Day is celebrated by serving cool, sweet drinks Image source: napecjalandhar.blogspot.com
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  • Chabeel’ is a Punjabi word referring to a sweet, cool, and a non-alcoholic drink
  • Chabeel day is celebrated to remember the martyrdom of the fifth Sikh Guru, Guru Arjun Dev Ji
  • This summer, when people will be feeling a little hot and tired, Sikhs will be there to spread positive energy

For hundreds of years, Sikhs in India have offered chabeel to the general public on hot days, between the months of May and June.

The first ever Chabeel Day is going to be celebrated on June 18th.Chabeel Day is an adaptation of last year’s ‘Chabeel Week’ held by Sikhs across the world. Chabeel’ is a Punjabi word referring to a sweet, cool, and a non-alcoholic drink. This refreshing drink is served to the public to pass on the message that one should be eternally optimistic.

The poster. Image Source:Twitter

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Chabeel day is celebrated to remember the martyrdom of the fifth Sikh Guru, Guru Arjun Dev Ji. Guru Arjan Dev Ji, became the first Sikh martyr in 1606 after he refused to alter the Sikh scriptures as ordered by the tyrannical Mughal Emperor Jahangir, in an effort to curtail the Guru’s growing influence in India. When Guru Arjan Dev Ji refused, he was tortured by being made to sit on a red hot plate, whilst hot sand was poured over him.

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Chabeel Day. Image source: educationnewsline.blogspot.com
Chabeel Day. Image source: educationnewsline.blogspot.com

He asked the Sikhs to accept God’s will as sweet instead remembering this event through mourning. Therefore, Sikhs changed negativity into positivity by turning an attack upon them into a chance to serve others. Sikhs honor the Guru’s burning by cooling everyone else. This is Chardi Kala.

Chardi Kala translates to ‘ever-rising spirits.’ It dictates that one should be eternally optimistic as a sign of their contentment with the will of God, even during the times of adversity.

This summer, when people will be feeling a little hot and tired, Sikhs will be there to spread positive energy.

-prepared by Ajay Krishna of NewsGram. Twitter: @ajkrish14

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  • Vrushali Mahajan

    I really liked the motive of this day, ‘to be optimistic eternally.’ This is a very good initiative, and knowing that it is celebrated by Sikhs all over the world is even more delightful. I’d really like to have Chabeel one day or the other!

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20 Indians Killed In A Terrorist Attack In Afghanistan

The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (IHRC) condemned the attack

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Afghan firefighters clean up the site of a deadly suicide bombing near Kabul University, in Kabul, March 21, 2018.
Afghan firefighters clean up the site of a deadly suicide bombing near Kabul University, in Kabul, March 21, 2018. VOA

A suicide bomber targeted a group of Sikhs and Hindus, two Afghan minority communities, in Jalalabad city, the capital of eastern Nangarhar province, on Sunday, killing nearly 20 people.

“They brutalized us. They have martyred 15 and wounded 15 other Sikhs. We are not aligned with any group or party. Why would anyone attack us? We never harmed anyone,” Tarlok Singh, a member of the Sikh religious minority, told VOA.

However, an Afghan health official told VOA the death toll was higher, with 19 people killed — at least 17 from the Sikh and Hindu communities — and at least 20 others injured.

The Sikhs and Hindus were reportedly on their way to attend a gathering led by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in the provincial governor’s office when a suicide bomber on foot detonated his explosive device.

Islamic State through its media wing, Amaq, took responsibility for the attack in Jalalabad city, however, the militant group claimed to have targeted a “medical compound.”

It is believed to be one of the first times a suicide bomber has targeted members of the Sikh minority group in Afghanistan.

“Unfortunately, it is the first time that our Sikhs become the victim of suicide bombing. The leaders of the group and their active community members were all killed or injured today,” Zabihullah Zimaray, a former provincial secretary general of Nangarhar province, told VOA.

Avtar Singh Khalsa, a longtime leader in the Sikh community, was among those killed in today’s suicide attack, an Afghan official told VOA.

Khalsa was an unopposed candidate running for the only seat for Afghan Sikh and Hindu minorities in Afghanistan’s parliamentary election in October.

Place where the attack took place
Map, Place where the attack took place. VOA

The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (IHRC) condemned the attack and called the attack on minority groups “… an obvious example of a war crime,” and asked the Afghan government to bring those responsible to justice.

“The Afghan armed oppositions must respect the international humanitarian laws and human rights values and refrain from targeting specific groups or individuals,” IHRC spokesperson Mohammad Bilal Sidiqi told VOA.

Discrimination

The Afghan Sikh and Hindu populations totaled about 220,000 in the 1980s. That number dropped sharply to 15,000 when the mujahedeen were in power during the 1990s and remained at that level during the Taliban regime. It is now estimated that only 1,350 Hindus and Sikhs remain in the country, according to an investigation conducted by TOLO news, Afghanistan’s most viewed private television station.

Discrimination is one the many reasons Sikh and Hindu minorities are fleeing Afghanistan, Anar Kali Hunaryar, an Afghan Sikh senator, told VOA in a previous interview.

“Discrimination has caused our children not to attend the mainstream schools and that is why most of our kids in Afghanistan remained illiterate and could not actively participate in their communities,” Hunaryar said during the interview.

Afghanistan is a predominantly Muslim country, but the constitution spells out equal rights to the followers of other faiths.

“The sacred religion of Islam is the religion of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. Followers of other faiths shall be free within the bounds of law in the exercise and performance of their religious rituals,” reads Article Two in Chapter One of the constitution.

However, Rawinder Singh, a member of the Afghan Sikh and Hindu Union, who spoke to VOA previously on the topic, named “social discrimination” as the No. 1 problem religious minorities face in the country.

The Indian subcontinent is the birthplace of the Sikh faith, and India is home to the world’s largest Sikh population.

“Our fellow Afghans call us Indian and we are being told to go back to India. We are Afghans just like any other resident of this country. Yes, we follow the same religion as Indians, but it’s not rational to say that we do not belong to Afghanistan,” Singh told VOA.

Sikh and Hindu minorities mostly dwell in the south and eastern Afghanistan, and their numbers continue to fall.

Also read: Twin Bomb Attacks in Afghanistan’s Kabul Kills 25 , IS Takes Responsibility

“We were being treated ill and discriminated in the past, but today they badly brutalized us,” Tarlok Singh said, referring to the suicide bomber attack. (VOA)