Saturday, 19 May 2007

The DSS controversy


Its been a few days since the DSS (Dera Sacha Sauda) controversy occurred back home in Panjab/Haryana. The controversy started when the leader of this sect appeared in an advert dressed as Guru Gobind Singh Ji, and appeared to be preparing amrit in a similar fashion as Guru Ji did.

Alot of people are misunderstanding the situation of being Sikhs fighting amongst themselves. This sect is NOT an offshoot of Sikhism by a long shot. It takes inspiration from all the core religions, and has followers from all walks of life, but mainly the dalit community.

The leader of this sect Baba Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, is a controversial figure himself, who faces rape and murder charges.

Some analysts argue that this is a political move, as the DSS urged everyone to support congress, where as the Sikhs tend to support the Akali Dal.

The current situation is that the Sikh Clergy have demanded an apology - which has not been forthcoming. Thousands of protesters have turned to the streets armed on both sides of the dispute. So far there has been one death in this latest episode.

Throughout history many pakhandi's have pretended to be Guru's ( Just look at how many pakhandis flocked to Baba Bakala once Guru HarKrishan Ji had signalled that the next Guru would be found there). Even jealous siblings formed seperate sects once they were unworthy of being Gurus. More recently the Nirankaris under Lachmann Singh again tied to malign/dilute the Sikh faith. The Nirankari leader (who had been supported by the congress party) tried to mock the Guru and the Panj Pyare, by saying he would create 'Sat Sitaarey' (Seven Stars). That particular conflict led to bloodshed. I have an awfull feeling that the current situation is very similar to the Nirankari episode, and one cannot help but draw some parallels between the two.

The pacifists are beating the old "sikh Extremists" drum, other words recently being touted are over reaction, no freedom of speech etc..

My own feeling is that what this baba has done is totally out of order. He should apologise, but i doubt that will happen. There will be bloodshed once again in Panjab. I believe that the initial protests were peaceful, but later turned violent once the opposition turned up armed.

I personally don't believe in the peaceful protest, it doesn't achieve anything - as it needs both sides to be on the same level (understanding the issues). This guy has basically mocked the Guru, and the pacifists want Sikhs to sit back and let the mocking continue. If you let it go this once, then be assured next time the mocking will increase in level. When will it stop and at what point do you say enough is enough?

Its ok to say that this guy has a freedom speech, but at what cost, and with freedom of speech there should be some form of responsibility. Freedom of Speech doesn't mean that someone can go and imitate the prophets of a faith.

Guru Ji himself said "When all other means have been exhausted it is righteous to pick up the sword". I'm not suggesting that all the Sikhs should go around killing everyone in the DSS sect, but its leader needs to think about the consequences of his ridiculous act.

Tuesday, 1 May 2007

Panj Review


As promised on one of my earlier posts, here’s my review of “Panj”, the 5th offering by Immortal Productions. I’ve had the CD for about a week now, and It is stunning. It contain tracks by the regular shaheedi crew (IP, Jagowale, Tigerstyle, XS-BASS,Shveta), and also some new blood to this genre (G.N.E, Crative Boy, Kanwar, Des-c, and Balwinder Matewaria). It’s a 12 track album, and it is different from the previous releases in that there is a lot of English content in this one.

Track 1 – Intro. As with all Shaheedi releases the intro is just advising that this album is to pay homage to the shaheeds, and please refrain from playing in clubs etc.

Track 2 – Singh Soormeh. XS-BASS and Kulwinder Singh Johal (of Tru Skool and the specialist fame) collaborate on the opening track. It’s a very hard hitting track about the brave Sikhs who gave their lives for the Guru, and the freedom fight there after, without the slightest fear of death. Excellent track to open with. You can hear the full track HERE.

Track 3 – Son of a Sardar. Tigerstyle introduce the vocals of Kanwar on this Hip Hop flavoured track. Most of the content is in English, so the youngsters will definitely relate to this. Again the track pays homage to the great Sikh martyrs like Shri Guru Arjun Dev Ji, and Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji. I say kudos to Tigerstyle with their experimenting on this track. One of my favourites on the album. You can hear the full track HERE.

Track 4 – Raaj Khalse Da . Surinder Singh & Narinder Singh join forces with Jagowale to bring this acoustic track. It really is a great track, the acoustics complement the vocals of the ever impressive Jagowale. The track is about how victory will always be the Khalsa’s, whoever they take the battlefield against. Mindblowing track.

Track 5 – State of the Union. America’s G.N.E featuring AK sentaali (AK47) bring this rap type track. The track urges the Sikh nation to rise and unify, to create a new chapter in world history. How long are we gonna sit back idly and talk about the injustices we have been handed out, and actually do something about it…. The message is hard hitting, and stirs the soul. You can hear the full track HERE.

Track 6 – Satnaam Waheguru – Tigerstyle once again with Shveta (who appeared on the excellent “mukhon Satnaam Bolda” on the Shaheedi 400 album), bring a blockbuster. This is a really mellow track, which urges the listener to discover the light of God which dwells in us all. I was really impressed by the male vocals on this track too, but there is no mention of the male singer on the credits. Nevertheless a great track, and i cn see it being on repeat on my CD for some time.

Track 7 – interlude by Immortal Productions and Crative Boy. A Short rap track which recalls the bravery shown by Baba Deep Singh Ji, and how we should all be proud of our heritage.

Track 8 – Sardari. Immortal Productions featuring Bhai Balkar Singh Chola Sahib. This is yet another hard hitting track about all those Singhs that are cutting their hair (Kesh Qatil). How we are trying to be fashionable, by removing Guru Ji’s nishani or stamp. Sikhs were made to stand out from the crowd by their appearance, and yet the youth are neglecting their unique identity. The Guru Ji made us unique so we could not hide, instead we would rise and outshine the regular people of society. Excellent lyrics.

Track 9 – Forget What Divides us. Manpreet Singh and Raxstar. The track tackles the caste system, even though Guru Ji abolished the caste system. We are still stuck in stigma’s such as the Caste system, ignoring the basic tennents of our faith – “Recognise all mankind as one”. I think some of the older generation need to take note of this track, as I feel the younger generation are now understanding that caste has no place in Sikhi.

Another great track.

Track 10 – Baba Deep Singh Shaheed. Immortal Productions featuring Jagowale. This song retells the account of Baba Deep Singh Ji’s shaheedi in typical Jagowale’s style.Another wake up call for the Sikhs…

Track 11 – Nishaney Kaumaan De. Tigerstyle feat Des-C. Des-C makes his debut on the Shaheedi series with this track. This particular track is about the importance of the Nishaan Sahib, it is more than simply a flag which shows where the nearest Gurudwara is.

Track 12 – Wake up Call – Money Spinner feat Balwinder Matewaria. This track pays homage to those shaheed who defended Shri Harmandir Sahib from the attacks by the Indian Army against enormous odds. They fulfilled the 10th Masters pledge that ‘One Sikh will battle 125,000 men’.

Overall thoughts: Wow, this is simply stunning. They’ve taken the Shaheedi series to a new level, with the added dimensions of rap and hip hop which were not really present before. Buy it now from HERE.