Nirbhaya’s Plight Now Part of Gurdwara Discourses
The Delhi gang rape victim is our daughter too. Politicians had initially reacted with smugness, for which they are known for, but for peoples’ reaction.
JALANDHAR: It’s no comment by a social activist or enraged youth venting anger over Nirbhaya’s plight. The comment was part of recent discourses by said Punjabi ballad singer Pushpinder Kaur in gurudwaras in Punjab and Delhi.
Nirbhaya’s trauma and the subsequent public outrage is becoming part of religious discourses delivered daily at the Sikh gurudwaras in Delhi and many other cities, towns and villages in Punjab. Her trauma and public anger is being evoked frequently in these discourses also telecast live by many gurudwaras.
During the weekly congregation at the historic Gurudwara Tahli Sahib in Kapurthala on Sunday, the ‘ardaas’ or prayer in a standing position, was for "peace to Delhi victim’s soul, strength to her family to come to terms with the loss and peace in the country."
Prayers and discourses – which are attended in large numbers and are also telecast — are also exhorting women to rise against crime and jibes against politicians are being made.
"The ruling elite has proved its callousness by not acting against those who raped hapless women in November 1984 in Delhi. Alas, people did not come onto the streets for justice then," Pushpinder Kaur added in her discourse during her discourses in the gurudwara at Dugri in Ludhiana and at Dukh Niwaran and Yamuna Paar in Delhi.
Another ballad singer of ‘dhaadi’, Gurdial Singh Lakhpur, during his programmes in villages in the past week, has sought to exhort Sikhs to follow the examples of bravery and chivalry from Sikh history to combat those who assaulted women.
"We have to strengthen our value system passed on by the Gurus. It is the duty of Sikhs to come to the rescue of a woman under attack. Since the time of the gurus, Sikhs have sacrificed their lives to protect the honour of women. Our ancestors protected the womenfolk from foreign invaders. We should follow their example," said Lakhpur, in his discourses.
And, in the widely-viewed live telecast of daily discourse from Gurudwara Bangla Sahib in Delhi, its head granthi Giani Harnam Singh on Sunday mentioned the case in his discourse.
While sharing the grief of the family of the victim and praising her for her will power, Giani Harnam Singh also praised the people for having "finally taken up the grave issue concerning our daughter."
At the Gurudwara Nauvin Patshahi in Guru Teg Bahadur Nagar in Jalandhar, the Saturday evening discourse mentioned: "We have been demanding tough punishment for rapists. But, the political class and police did not react till this outpouring of public anger."
Reference was also made at Gurudwara Dukh Niwaran in Ludhiana. "The outrage came late but this incident seems to have pricked the nation’s conscience," said Phushpinder Kaur, who leads her ‘dhaadi jatha’ (group of balllad singers), during her discourse.
‘Nirbhay’ and ‘Nirbhau,’ commonly used words in Gurbani, mean fearless. Even the “mool mantra” (beginning) of Guru Granth Sahib mentions ‘nirbhau’ (fearless) as one character of god. Gurbani and Sikhism exhort followers to grow ‘nirbhau’ as they follow a ‘nirbhau’ god.