This topic has been growing in my mind for sometime.
There has been a growing unrest in my mind about the fate of Sikh Men, The Sardar ( Turbaned & Bearded). We have become a rare being. Even in Punjab, which once used to be land full of Turbaned Sikhs. Everyday I feel more lost than what I am today.
Why is this Identity Important? This Identity was given to us by our Guru, Guru Gobind Singh Ji, keeping in mind that when there is oppression or unjust, people would know whom to go to. A person who is unique and identifiable in crowd. Person whom on seeing you would not know his emotions. Person who is saint as well as a Warrior. Even today Sikhs are by default trusted and believed. Such is this beautiful Identity.
But where does this stand in modern world? In this fast modern world we are slowly loosing our Identity. People dont have time for maintain hair beard. Modern World considers beards as sign of being dirty! Few years back it was sign of Manhood. How the times have changed. Turbans were considered as Crown on Head, now Caps have replaced them. The question that ate me was why? Why is this identity being lost? I get only one answer “Social Acceptance”.
Sikh Men feel a need to be accepted by the society. Society standards of good looks is clean shaved, smart cut men. When I say society, I mainly mean women. We don’t exist in their quest for love. Everyone Idolize to find Clean Shave actors and sports stars. I have never heard anyone say, I would love to find a Turbaned Sikh Guy. None. Their might be some women who do say so but their count in very very marginal. And the worst part is Sikh Women too dont want Sikh Men! Have we fallen so much. These women have brothers & fathers who are Turbaned Sikh men and they fancy Clean Shaved Men. I need not go far. I find these examples at my own home. There are Modern Sikh Moms who don’t want to take pains of bringing up their child as Sikh. They cut their hair in a young age. Why? Just because you are too lazy you take away your child’s choice? There are plenty of examples I see everyday. These Modern people would claim themselves to be Spiritual but not religious. They would say they believe in good Sikh values rather than keeping the Sikh looks. I think it is all crap. You are too lazy to follow ways of Sikhism that’s all. I think its high time that someone say something about this.
Please note, I do agree now a days people just fall in love, and the look does not matter. I know most women would say that. But If I introduce a woman to Sikh man & Clean Shaved Man, both of them are equal in every way. Good Character, Charismatic, Smart, financially Good. I m sure 99% Sikh Man would end up being friend and Clean Shaved man as Boy Friend. Are beards and Turban sign of you being ancient? No it is not. But that is what is happening today. Sometime back I was at 5 Star Hotel in Delhi. A woman there was feeding her child pointing to me saying that bearded man take you and run away. I m happy that the kid ate her food. But what happens to her psyche, from very beginning you are training her to be afraid of people with beard?
I know just this blog is not going to change anyone’s mindset, but I m still going ahead with it. Slowly slowly Identity of my religion would die. I m sure of this. My only humble request through this blog is, To Sikh Men is be proud of your Turban and your Sikh look, Turban is Crown on your head. To Sikh-“Modern”-Women, give Sikh men a chance. Let me end by few lines from a Song : “Har Sardar Nu Kudi Ta Mil Jandi Hai, Par Har Ek Kudi Nu Sardar Nahi Milda.”
Hoping for a better future.
Jagdeep Singh Virdi