Trashing Raja Petra Kamarudin is not the Sikh way

Dear Malaysian Sikhs,

Dato’ Seri Amar Singh Ishar Singh is as much a part of the Khalsa as was Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the tenth Guru of the Sikhs. Not only did the Khalsa provide a political and religious texture to the Sikh community, it engendered a form of leadership that departed from the masands system of the earlier Gurus. A Khalsa Sikh is required to observe a dress code that, among others, requires one to grow his (or her) hair naturally as a symbol of respect for all of Waheguru’s (God’s) creations.

Amar observes the dress code.

Like most Sikhs, he too wears the pagri (turban) and keeps himself tidy as required by the religion. Guru Angad Dev Ji honoured Guru Amar Das with a special pagri when the light of Nanak was descended upon him. Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji did not discount this when he undertook to establish the brotherhood of the Khalsa and said;

“Kangha dono vakt kar, paag chune kar bandhai.”

Translated, it means that a Sikh should comb his hair twice a day and tie his turban carefully, turn by turn. Here itself, you can see the emphasis the Sikhs put in keeping themselves tidy and how sacred the pagri is to them. Bhai Chaupa Singh, known at birth as ‘Chaupat Rai’, the ‘adoptive’ son of Sri Guru Har Rai Sahib Ji, was known to have said;

“Kachh, karha, kirpan, kangha, keski, Eh panj kakar rehat dhare Sikh soi.”

This, translated, means that the five Kakars of Sikhism are the special briefs, steel bracelet, the sword, the comb and the keski, a small pagri the Sikhs wear to protect the kesh. A person who wears all these symbols is considered to be a Sikh, while one who doesn’t isn’t necessarily un-Sikh. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Amar Singh Ishar Singh is an Amritdhari Sikh.

Likewise, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Raja Petra Kamarudin (RPK) meant no harm to him. Regardless if I still profess Sikhism or otherwise, I was born into the religion, studied it in my adult years and am well aware of its virtues. Like Islam, Sikhism demands that one seeks an explanation first from one’s contender and (or) adversary before one jumps into the whirlpool of assumption. I spoke to RPK about the whole “turban affair” and found his position on the matter well grounded.

Question is, have any of you spoken to him?

I think the whole lot of you sending him these cryptic text messages are going about things the wrong way. It is not the Sikh way to treat others barbarically be it the murderer of your kin or the rapist of your child. It matters to me a great deal what is being said about RPK, because, as many of you may already be aware, he is like a father to me. In Sikhism, like in Islam, a father is akin to the root of one’s existence that one must defend at all cost.

It follows, that I offer to meet Amar Singh in the flesh and blood to extend my deepest apologies on RPK’s behalf.

Waheguru Ji ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji ki Fateh

Raggie Jessy

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