Monday July 16, 2018
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Selfless Service Is The Way Of The Sikhs

This summer, the Sikhs are working tirelessly to spread happiness by distributing chilled rose milk to passers-by on the roads.

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Women preparing roti for langar, Wikimedia commons
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  • This summer, the Sikhs are working tirelessly in the heat to spread happiness by distributing chilled rose milk to passers-by on the roads.
  • Their aim is to simply serve, to bring joy or relief to someone else, and to help someone who needs it.
  • When caste systems in India have divided the public and caused suffering and pain, the Sikh principles have united everyone with no caste distinctions.

With a bright smile, they pour you a glass of flavored milk. In the scorching heat, they not only quench your thirst but also uplift your spirits. This summer, the Sikhs are working tirelessly in the heat to spread happiness by distributing chilled rose milk to passers-by on the roads. They have set up temporary camps and they hand over glasses after glasses to pedestrians, rikshaw-pullers, two-wheeler riders and anyone with a parched throat. No one has asked them to do it. They consider this as a means to serve humanity.

Serving the people without discrimination and devoting  time and energy for the benefit and upliftment of the public are integral parts of ‘seva’ or service .The Sikhs tirelessly engage themselves in such community activities without expecting any reward or anything in return. This selfless service is called ‘Karseva’. The aim is to simply serve, to bring joy or relief to someone else, and to help someone who needs it.

Serving Rose-Milk Image source: napecjalandhar.blogspot.com

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With helping others as their only initiative, Sikhs have even removed their turbans to save drowning people as the rest of the world looked on. There have also been Sikhs who have set up langars in war-stricken Syrian territory to help refugees.

People of all ages take active part in the service. Their service in the gurudwaras, the place of worship of Sikhs is a sight to see.  Middle-aged well-to-do men are mopping the floors; women are making chappatis in the kitchen for the langar and kids running with buckets of dal serving anyone whose plate are empty.

Image Source: Facebook

When caste systems in India have divided the public and caused suffering and pain, the Sikh principles have united everyone with no caste distinctions. Their view of equality is one of the many endearing things found in this faith.

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Image Source: The Hindu

The resolve to serve runs deep in Sikh culture. Some of the bravest armymen and sportspersons are from the Sikh community.

With all these selfless service, the Sikhs have captured our hearts and have inspired us to serve others. In today’s world, where people run behind fame and fortune, Sikhs engage in selfless service restoring our faith in humanity.

-prepared by Ajay Krishna, an intern at NewsGram. Twitter: @ajkrish14

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  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Sikhs have been the most selfless people in India. Distributing Chabeel on streets was one recent event they hosted. Also, in gurudwaras, they have free langars for anybody who wishes to eat food and the food provided has quality and good taste factors

  • Shubhi Mangla

    its a mark of pride that this Indian community is helping people in such a selfless way. Everyday people engage in langar services in gurdwaras and also clean it. The most beautiful job they have done is to distribute food to Syrian refugees.

  • devika todi

    i am sure everyone knows about the selfless ways of the sikhs. they truly propagate the principle of live and let live. the community as a whole inspires me.

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  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Sikhs have been the most selfless people in India. Distributing Chabeel on streets was one recent event they hosted. Also, in gurudwaras, they have free langars for anybody who wishes to eat food and the food provided has quality and good taste factors

  • Shubhi Mangla

    its a mark of pride that this Indian community is helping people in such a selfless way. Everyday people engage in langar services in gurdwaras and also clean it. The most beautiful job they have done is to distribute food to Syrian refugees.

  • devika todi

    i am sure everyone knows about the selfless ways of the sikhs. they truly propagate the principle of live and let live. the community as a whole inspires me.

Next Story

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)