12 Aug 2021

Sikhs and I

Jenny and I were driving along Logan Rd in Brisbane yesterday when we passed the Sikh gurdwara (temple) there.  I remarked that I had had Sikhs around my life since childhood and had always had a good impression of them.   I remember in my early teens how a tall dignified brown man in a blue turban gave me a tract about Guru Nanak (founder of Sikhism).  It was published by the Gurpurb publishing company, a name which I have never been able to forget.  I read the tract

Jenny endorsed my opinion of Sikhs and reminded me that in her travels in India in her youth she had been to Amritsar and actually slept in the GoldenTemple there -- a beneficiary of Sikh charity

When I was in London for  a year in 1977, there were a lot of small shops there run by Sikhs.  I was in one such shop once  when I saw some old fool abusing the employees there, telling them how he had won the war and Sikhs had done nothing.  In truth of course many Sikh families had lost sons in Britain's wars. I was quietly enraged by this so as I walked past the fool on my way out the door I gave him a heavy shoulder bump which sent him to the floor.  It was probably wrong of me to do that and a Briton would never have done it.  But I am not British.  I am Australian

On another occasion I was in the habit of shopping at Sikh store near where I lived at the time.  The Sikhs working there were used to getting a cold shoulder from their British customers.  But, given my view of Sikhs,  I always walked into their store with a smile on my face and was very friendly to them.  The Sikhs seemed initially to be surprised by such treatment from a "British" customer but warmed to it.  And one day when I had ordered two samoosas for snack, they popped a third samoosa into the bag at no charge.

I think Islam tends to make men into monsters.  Sikhism makes them into gentlemen.

Although Sikhs are sometimes mistaken for Muslims because they wear turbans, Sikhism in fact started out as an Indian alternative to Islam and Sikhs fought the Muslims almost from the inception of Sikhism.

Some Sikhs in the company of a well-known Christian gentleman