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Some issues of the
SIKH POLITY

AKALI:- To be pronounced as Akaali. Literally: one who belongs to Akal (the Timeless i.e. the Almighty). In other words an Akali is that person who is loyal to none but the Almighty only. Philosophically speaking, Akali and Khalsa and Sikh are synonymous. The term Akali was first used during the time of Guru Sahib. The first usage of the term Akali became popular when Bhai Naina Singh, the uncle and the predecessor of Akali Phula Singh used it as prefix of his name, in the last decades of the eighteenth century. His successor Akali Phula Singh became even more popular. Akali Phula Singh was the caretaker of Akal Takht Sahib in 1800. He was known for his commitment to the cause of the nation. He brought an end to the un-Sikh practices started by the Hindu caretakers of the Sikh shrines. (During dark days of the Sikh history when the Sikhs were living in their hide-outs, the Sikh shrines had been occupied and controlled by the Udasis. This happened again after the annexation of the Sikh Homeland by the British in 1849). Since Akali Phula Singh, the term came to be associated with "commitment, fearlessness, boldness, struggle and justice." In 1920, when the Sikhs began Gurdwara Reform Movement, a newspaper was started, on May 21, 1920. It was named Akali, apparently to associate it with the boldness and the commitment of Akali Phula Singh.

AKAL TAKHT SAHIB:- Akal (to be pronounced as akaal) Takht Sahib means: the Throne of the Almighty (or the Immortal Throne). It was revealed by Guru Hargobind Sahib, in 1609. The foundation stone of the structure of the Akal Takht Sahib was laid down by Guru Hargobind Sahib himself and the rest of that structure was completed by Baba Buddha and Bhai Gurdas exclusively. None else was allowed to participate.
Akal Takht Sahib is the Throne of the Almighty. It represent the Sikh concept of oneness of Miri (temporal) and Piri (transcendental). It implies that in the court (or at the throne) of the Almighty, a man of Piri can not escape from his role of Miri (and vice versa), on the plea of separation of scope or domain. According to the Sikh concept of oneness of Miri and Piri, sovereignty in both domains (spiritual and temporal) is not distinguishable. It is not unity of Miri and Piri, but it is oneness of the both. According to the concept of Akal Takht Sahib Mir (temporal part) has duty to impart Dharma (Righteousness) and Pir (transcendental part) must not be a silent spectator to injustice, tyranny and inhumanity. In the concept of oneness of Miri and Piri, these two domains do not stand distinguishable, but they are a one whole. The same concept echoes when Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib says "neither fear nor frighten any one" and when Guru Gobind Singh Sahib says that a Sikh should "recite the name of the Almighty from his tongue, but in his heart of hearts, he should be ever-ready for fight for Righteousness". The construction of the Throne of the Almighty, in front of the Darbar (the court) of the Almighty, signifies that He (The Justice) watches His Throne from His Court. The Almighty's Throne and Court can not be separated; both supplement each other. It is wrong to suggest that Akal Takht Sahib is a political seat. It is contradiction in terms. The authority of the Throne of the Almighty can not be restricted to a particular aspect (political or religious or any other), nor can it be abridged in any form or to any extent. Akal Takht Sahib is a complete wholeness. To sum up, Akal Takht Sahib is the guardian of freedom, justice, humanity, Righteousness and spiritualism.
Akal Takht Sahib is the supreme-most seat of authority for the Sikh nation. A Sikh has only one loyalty i.e. to the Almighty, and a Sikh is a subject of the Supreme Sovereign. A Sikh has an obligation to accept the command of the Throne of the Almighty only. During the time of Guru Sahib, the Command of the Almighty was conveyed through Guru Sahib themselves. After 1708, Sarbat Khalsa was invested with the authority to make Gurmatta (the Sikh form of consensus), at Akal Takht Sahib, with sanction from Guru Granth Sahib. The Gurmatta of the Sarbat Khalsa, when released to the Sikh nation from Akal Takht Sahib, becomes a Hukamnama. The Hukamnama of Akal Takht Sahib is final and is binding for each and every Sikh. None dare defy it. One who shows his back to Akal Takht Sahib, is excommunicated from the Sikh Panth (nation). The Sikh nation has always rallied around Akal Takht Sahib to make resolve with regard to the national issues. All the decisions of the Sikh nation have always been taken at Akal Takht Sahib. In the eighteenth century, when different Misls (confederations) of the Sikh Commonwealth had been operating in different zones of the Sikh Homeland, the Misls (files) of the territories freed by different sections, were kept at Akal Takht Sahib. Since then, all the expeditions, agitations and national programmes have been, and are, launched with the blessing of Akal Takht Sahib. The caretaker of Akal Takht Sahib is the co-ordinator of the activities of the Sikh nation. Since 1920, the caretaker of Akal Takht Sahib has come to be wrongly called as the Jathedar. This term is neither appropriate nor in accordance with the concept of Akal Takht Sahib.
The building of Akal Takht Sahib had been demolished thrice by the Mogul, the Afghan and the Indian armies (last time in June 1984). The present structure was built between 1986 and 1994. Also see: Jathedar. For details see: Akal Takht Sahib (1995 edition) by this author.

BANDA SINGH BAHADUR (RULE OF):- Baba Banda Singh Bahadur was the first Sikh to re-establish the Sikh rule in some parts of the Sikh Homeland. His reign was the real rule of the Sikhs. It was the true egalitarian system; genuine democracy; real rule of the people; and a bona fide welfare State. Baba Banda Singh Bahadur issued the first Sikh coin and the Sikh seal and launched a new Sikh calendar also. Though this rule was short-lived; but it was a rule based on the commands of Guru Sahib. On the other hand (Maharaja) Ranjit Singh's rule (1799 - 1839) was exactly opposite of the command of Guru Sahib.

COINS OF THE SIKHS:- The first Sikh coins were issued by Baba Banda Singh Bahadur, in 1710. It was issued in the name of Guru Sahib. The Persian inscription on it read:
Sikka zad dar har do aalam
Teg-i- Naanak Sahib ast.
Fateh Gobind Singh shah-i-shaahan
Fazal-i-Sachcha Sahib ast.
(meaning: "Coin struck in the two worlds by the Grace of the Almighty, victory to Guru Gobind Singh, the king of kings. The sword of Nanak is the granter of the wishes") The other side read as:
Zarb ba Amaan-ud-maswworat
Shahar Zinat-ut-takht-i-mubaarik bakht
(meaning: "coined at the ideal city, the refuge of the world, the ornament of the Fortunate throne")
In 1758, a coin is said to have been issued by Sirdar Jassa Singh Ahluwalia. The wording on the coin, which reads "the country of Ahmed (Shah Durrani) captured by Jassa the distiller", however, proves that this coin could not have been issued at least by Sirdar Jassa Singh Ahluwalia himself. It seems that this coin might have been minted by the Moguls or the agents of Ahmed Shah Durrani in order to enrage him against the Sikhs and to insult the Sikhs and their leader.
In 1765 the Sikhs had regained sovereignty over the most of the territory of Sikh Homeland. After this, a Sikh coin was issued from Lahore. The coin was named Nanak Shaahi. The wording, in Persian, read:
Degh-o-tegh-o-fateh-o-nusrat-bedirang
Zaafat az Naanak Guru Gobind Singh
(meaning: "kettle, sword, victory and prompt patronage have been obtained from Guru Sahib, Guru Nanak Sahib to Guru Gobind Singh Sahib"). Again, another Sikh coin was issued from Amritsar, in 1778, with the inscription:
Shah Naanak Sahib Fateh Guru Gobind Singh fazal
Sikka zad dar har do aalam sakht.
On the other side of the coin it read:
Zarab Amritsar jaloos takht akaal bakht sammat 1835.
Again, some coins were issued in 1786, 1787, 1789. The inscription on these coins resembled the coins of 1765. (Maharaja) Ranjit Singh occupied Lahore in 1799. He issued a new coin in 1800. Again, in 1803 and 1807, new coins were issued by Ranjit Singh. The inscription read:
Tegh Naanak az fateh va fazal Gobind Singh
Sachaa shaahan sikka zad bar simo zar.
On this coin, Ranjit Singh's Brahmin ministers added a leaf. In later coins, a leaf of peacock bird was added in order to please Moran, a Muslim keep of Ranjit Singh. Moran Shaahi coins were minted up to 1827. On these coins Akaal becomes Kaal. The coins issued in 1836 had the sketch of Ranjit Singh on one side and Baba Nanak on the other side. General Sirdar Hari Singh Nalwa too issued coins from Peshawar. Besides these coins some coins had been issued by Raja Jai Singh Kanhayia, Raja Sahib Singh Gujrat etc. Some of these coins can be seen at Sikh Museum (Lahore, Pakistan) and British Museum (London, England).
The coin of the Patiala State was named Patiala Rupee and the Mohar was called Raje Shaahi. The Raje Shaahi rupee was 11 and a quarter Masha (about 10 grams) and the Mohar was ten and three quarter Masha. The inscription on Patiala currency read:
Hukam shud az qadare be choon ba ahmed baadshah
Sikka zan bar simo zar az auje mahi ta bamah
The coin of Jind State was known as Jindia Rupee. Its weight was like the Patiala Rupee and the inscription on it was the same as that of the Patiala coin.
The Nabha coins, Nabha Rupee was 11 and a quarter Masha and Mohar was ten and a quarter Masha made of pure metal. The inscription on Nabha coin was the same like that of the Khalsa Misls.

DURLI JATHA:- The origin of the word Durli is unknown, Jatha means band. In spite of this its sense is conveyed onomatopoeically. Durli Jatha means a band of dedicated workers who do not have any desire for any office, status, reward or publicity; and intend at selfless service of the nation. The term had, probably, been coined during the Gurdwara reform movement (1920-25). The Chakarvarti Jatha, later known as Babar Akali Jatha, had already shown its performance. Whereas Chakarvarti Jatha/Babar Akali Jatha had adopted armed struggle to fight against injustice and terror, the Durli Jatha chose peaceful means. Durli Jatha was formed during the Guru Ka Bagh and the Jaito Agitation. It played the role of spying as well as facilitating the participants during the agitation at different stages and in different situations. Again, in 1960, during the Punjabi Suba agitation too, such a Jatha was formed. In general situations too, this term is used for that band of the Sikh activists who do not participate in organizational activities or for offices but intend at reform and watch-dog activities.

GURMATA:- To be pronounced as Gurmataa. A decision made according to Guru's Mat (counsel). All the decisions affecting the Sikh nation, reached through a consensus, are called Gurmata (pronounced as Gurmataa). The first examples of this institution can be found from the life time of Guru Gobind Singh Sahib. In the summer of 1705, the capital of the Sikh nation (Aanandpur Sahib) had been besieged by the joint forces of the hill rulers and the Moguls. It continued till December 1705. On December 5, 1705, the Sikhs made a Gurmata asking Guru Gobind Sahib to leave Aanandpur Sahib. Another Gurmata was made by the Sikhs, in the fortress of Chamkaur, on December 7, 1705, asking Guru Sahib to leave the fortress of Chamkaur Sahib. During the eighteenth century, the Sikhs held several Sarbat Khalsa (the Sikh Commonwealth) gatherings and made Gurmatas with regard to the military, political and the other issues affecting the Sikh nation. If a Gurmata is concerned with the whole of the Sikh nation, the representatives of all the organizations of the Sikhs, which owe their loyalty to Akal Takht Sahib, must be represented in such a meeting. With Guru Granth Sahib amid them, the Sikh representatives begin the meeting with a vow that from that moment, and during the whole of the proceedings of Sarbat Khalsa, while reaching consensus on any issue, affecting the Sikh nation, they shall not consider themselves associated with any group or organization. A Gurmata can be made about the Sikh national issues or the issues regarding clarifications and/or support of the issues pertaining to the fundamental principles of Sikhism. A Gurmata can not pronounce verdict on Sikh philosophy, not can it change any postulates or theory of the Sikh ideology. A Gurmata, after it has been passed by the Sarbat Khalsa, is released as a Hukamnama, to the Sikh nation, from Akal Takht Sahib. A Hukamnama can not be issued by the caretaker of Akal Takht Sahib or the Punj Piaray of their own. The decisions of the Sikhs with regard to the issues not relating to the whole of the nation, are called Mata (resolution). Also see: Hukamnama and Mata.

HUKAMNAMA:- To be pronounced as Hukamnaamaa. Hukamnama literally means: "Royal Order." Akal Takht Sahib is the Throne of the Almighty and the Orders of the Almighty (the King of the Kings) are, of course, Hukamnamas (the Royal Orders). Hukamnama, when it is issued, in a proper manner, is binding on the whole of the Sikh nation. A Hukamnama is the Gurmata of the Sarbat Khalsa. After it is issued from Akal Takht Sahib, it becomes a Hukamnama. Akal Takht Sahib's verdicts, in the cases of the petitions made by individuals, are also known as Hukamnamas, but if the issue in the petition regards the whole of the Sikh nation, then it must be sanctioned by the Sarbat Khalsa (the Sikh nation as a whole). Also see: Gurmata.

JATHEDAR:- Jathedar literally means the: Dar (the keeper/head) of a Jatha (group) i.e. one who leads a Jatha (the leader of a band). The presidents of the Sikh organizations e.g. Shiromani Akali Dal, are called Jathedar. During the agitations, each Jatha (band, unit) have a leader, who is called Jathedar. The term has been used in the Sikh literature since seventeenth century. In the eighteenth century, the whole of the Sikh army had been in the form of bands, which were headed by a leader who was known as Jathedar. On October 12, 1920, when the attendants of Akal Takht Sahib left Takht Sahib unattended, the Sikhs present there appointed a Jatha (band) of 25 Sikhs, to take care of Takht Sahib. Since then, the ignorant leaders of the Sikh nation have been wrongly using the term Jathedar for the caretaker of Akal Takht Sahib and the other Takhts since then. The designation Jathedar of a Takht is not in consonance with the Sikh ideology.

JHOOLDE NISHAN REHAN PANTH MAHARAJ DE:- This line has been taken from a poem of Bhai Nihal Singh. Literally it means: "the flags of the Sikh nation may always flutter." It is a Sikh national supplication that "the Sikh nation might always remain sovereign" and the distinct identity and the entity of the Sikh nation may always be conserved (by the Almighty). It is a sequel to the Sikh phrase Khalsaji De Boal Bale (all decision making powers to the Khalsa). This supplication is often sung during the Sikh processions.

JURISPRUDENCE (The Sikh):- The Sikh legal system is based upon Guru Granth Sahib, the writings of Bhai Gurdas, Dasam Granth, the writings of Bhai Nand Lal, the Sikh customs and traditions from the times of Guru Sahib and with a cautious approach from the customary laws of the Sikh Homeland. The sanction of the Sikh jurisprudence vests in the Sarbat Khalsa, in the name of Akal Takht Sahib. Punj Piaray is the Sikh collegial system. For details see: "Eight Pillars of the Sikh Polity", Appendix II, in the book Akal Takht Sahib by Harjinder Singh Dilgeer (the author).

KHALSA JI DE BOL BALE:- Literally: All decision making powers to the Khalsa. In other words "the rule of the Khalsa" or an independent, fully sovereign Sikh nation with a well demarcated territory. This is the central part of the Aanandpur Sahib Resolution-1973 (the manifesto of the Akali Dal). The Indian government managed to win over some leaders of the Akali Dal who changed the meaning of these words to: "the supremacy of the Khalsa" which negates complete sovereignty. Similarly, in the same document there was another sentence: Desh kaal gharhanaa (to carve out an "autonomous set-up with a well demarcated territory") was also changed to the words "to create congenial atmosphere."

MAHARAJA:- Literally monarch. In Sikhism, the institution of "king" or "monarch", as such, does not exist. Sikhism rejects the right of an individual to rule the mind and bodies of human beings. Khalsa means sovereign, hence none can rule Khalsa. Similarly, a Khalsa too can not rule another Khalsa. According to the Sikh philosophy, only the Almighty is "The King" (the Kings of the kings). In Sikhism, the so-called administrator of any territory is not a power; he is rather a servant. The institution of "emperor" pre-supposes one who gives orders and the others who obey it. This is not approved in Sikh polity. In Sikhism, the collective leadership (Sarbat Khalsa), consensus (Gurmatta) are the basic institutions of the Sikh polity. Historically, the rule of the Sikhs under the leadership of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur was in accordance with the Sikh polity, whereas the rule by (Maharaja) Ranjit Singh was exactly the opposite. Ignorant and phony Sikhs consider the personal reign of (Maharaja) Ranjit Singh as the rule of the Sikh nation.

MATA:- To be pronounced asMataa. Mata means resolution. The decisions regarding the issues which do not affect the Sikh nation as a whole are called Mata. It affects the persons or the groups covered by its scope. Also see: Gurmata and Hukamnama.

MIRI AND PIRI:- Literally: Miri means Transcendental and Piri means temporal. This is a unique Sikh doctrine revealed by Guru Nanak Sahib and propounded by Guru Hargobind Sahib. In Sikhism, the administration of the State is based on the principles of Righteousness; hence State is negated to the minimum. According to this doctrine, a man of temporal domain is the defender of spiritualism and a man of religion is the defender of the weak, the needy and the oppressed. In other words, a man of religion must not be silent spectator of tyranny, injustice and inhumanity; and; a man in his temporal capacity, must be the defender of Dharma (Righteousness). In the Sikh concept of "oneness" of Miri and Piri, Miri and Piri do not stand apart but they exist in oneness. Both these aspects (i.e. Mir and Pir), in the Sikh philosophy of the unity of Miri and Piri, go side by side; not in two persons or two personalities of one person; but in one person, in the perfection of his personality. It is in this concept of Sikhism, that makes a Sikh "a saint-soldier". The same sounds when Guru Gobind Singh says that a Sikh must recite the Name of the Almighty with his tongue but in his heart of hearts must be ever-ready for battle for Righteousness (Mukh te Har chitt mai-n yudh bichaarei). Also see: Akal Takht Sahib.

MISL:- Literally: a file. In the eighteenth century, when the Sikh army had become partly successful in freeing its Homeland from the Moguls and the other foreigners, the huge Sikh army (the Dal Khalsa) was divided into 11 groups. Every group had a Misl (file) which was kept at Akaal Bunga. In this file the territory freed by each and every Jatha was recorded. later the Jathas came to be known as Misls because of the 11 Misls (files). (After the occupation of Amritsar by (Maharaja) Ranjit Singh, the files disappeared or might have been destroyed). Now the 11 Sikh groups/battalions are referred to as 11 Misls.

MONARCHY- See: Maharaja.

MORCHA:- To be pronounced as Morchaa. Literally: a trench of defence post. In the modern meaning of the term, it means an agitation, usually peaceful. During the eighteenth century, the Sikhs had to fight a guerrilla war against huge forces. In some cases the number of the Sikhs would be too small that the Sikhs had to hide themselves to wait until the army of the enemy reached near them. In such cases the combat was generally between one Sikh compared to ten, twenty or even fifty soldiers of the enemy. A Sikh could easily fight this number. The present usage of the term Morcha for an agitation dates back to the early days of the twentieth century. The first regular Sikh Morcha was the "Keys Agitation" (1922), though the term Morcha has been used for the early agitations too, but the publications in which the term appears, had been written after 1922. The famous Sikh Morchas were: Keys' Agitation (1922), Jaito (1923-25), Bhai Pheru (1924), Kirpan Morcha (1936), Punjabi Suba Zindabad (1955), Punjabi Suba (1960-61), Chandigarh (1969), Dharam Yudh Morcha (1982-84) etc.

NAGARA (RANJIT):- To be pronounced as Nagaaraa. Literally: the drum (Nagara) of victorious (Ranjit) or the "drum of victory". In 1684, Guru Gobind Singh Sahib got a special drum prepared. It was named Ranjit (the winner of the battle-field). This drum was beaten at Kesgarh Sahib throne, at Aanandpur Sahib, every day, as a declaration of the sovereignty of the Sikh nation. Guru Sahib made it obligatory that before the closing of Gurdwara, Nagara must be beaten. Nagara is a symbol of sovereignty. Only the winner of a battle could beat it. Nishan (flag) and Nagara (drum) are an integral part of all Takhts (Khalsa Thrones) and Gurdwaras.

NALWA CONFERENCE:- A Conference held at Ludhiana, on July 4, 1965, in the memory of General Hari Singh Nalwa. The conference asserted "the right of the Sikh nation to self determination." This resolution was proposed by (former Justice) Gurnam Singh and was supported by Giani Bhupinder Singh (both belonging to different Akali Dals). It is widely believed that Sirdar Kapur Singh drafted the resolution. Almost an alike wording, however, had already appeared in the manifesto of the Sikh Students' Federation, several years earlier (passed at the annual conference of the Sikh Students' Federation, held at Jullundur, on October 8, 1949). This resolution of "right of the Sikh nation to self-determination" became the basis of the Sikhs' agitation for Sikh Homeland, followed by Khalistan struggle.

NATIONAL ANTHEM:- The Sikh national Anthem is: degh-o-tegh-o-fateh-o-nusrat bedirand; yaafat az Naanak - Guru Gobind Singh (meaning: the economic and political power and the unending victory has been granted to the Sikh nation through the graceful blessing of Guru Sahib, Guru Nanak Sahib to Guru Gobind Singh Sahib). Some Sikhs, out of ignorance, began using " deh shiva bar mohe ihai shubh karman te kabhoon na taron..." as the Sikh national anthem. There was another planning of making another verse "khag khand bihandang..." as the national anthem of the Sikhs. The Sikh national anthem "degh-o-teg-....." was sung during the rule of the Sikh States up to 1948, and even a couple of recordings were also available on long play records (LPs).

NISHAN SAHIB:- To be pronounced as Nishaan. Nishan literally means sign, mark, seal, flag and Sahib (literally the Master) is a term used to show respect. A Nishan Sahib is obligatory for a Gurdwara building. It is a triangular shaped cloth of saffron colour. The colour of the flag-pole, nowadays is usually saffron. (Earlier it was sky-blue too). The height of the flag is not fixed but it is always taller than the building of the Gurdwara or at least it should be fitted at the top of the building. At the top of the pole there should be an iron or steel Khanda (insignia comprising one Chakkar (quoit), one Khanda (double-edged sword) and two Kirpans (Sikh swords), representing temporal and transcendental. The Sikh flag represents the sovereignty of Miri and Piri (temporal and transcendental) of the Sikh nation. The origin of the Nishan Sahib is not known but during the time of Guru Hargobind Sahib, there were two flags hoisting at the building of Akal Takht Sahib. Similarly, the origin of the insignia Khanda too, is unknown. Probably it was added towards the end of the eighteenth or the beginning of nineteenth century. Five Nishan Sahibs are often carried in front of Guru Granth Sahib and/or in front of the Nagar Keertan too. The flags of all the Sikh organization resemble the Sikh national Nishan Sahib. Also see: Dumala.

PANTH:- Panth literally means way. Sikhism is a way of spiritual and social life, hence it is called Panth. In the Sikh context it means the Sikh nation. All the initiated Sikhs form Panth, whereas all the members of a Sikh congregation form a Sangat or Sikh Sangat.

PANTH DI JITT:- Literally: "victory to/of the Sikh nation." It is a Sikh supplication seeking "the Almighty may grant victory to the Sikh nation till the nation follows the Panth (i.e. the Sikh ideology)."

PUNJ PIARAY:- Punj Piaray literally means: the Five Beloved Ones. This term is used for those Five Sikhs who offered their lives to Guru Gobind Singh Sahib when he revealed Khalsa on March 29, 1698. These five were: Bhai Daya Singh, Bhai Mohkam Singh, Bhai Sahib Singh, Bhai Dharam Singh, Bhai Himmat Singh. They were initiated by Guru Sahib. After their initiation, the rest of the Sikhs were initiated by them (the Punj Piaray). Those who perform the Sikh initiation ceremony Amrit are also called Punj Piaray. Punj Piaray is not a standing college. Any practicing initiated Sikh who is not a Tankhahia, both male and female, can become one of the Punj Piaray for the purpose of initiation ceremony. Nowadays, the Sikh disputes are decided by five Sikhs who are wrongly called Punj Piaray. It is a tradition among the Sikhs to select five Sikhs to decide any dispute or the other cases (but does not have any ideological base and, however, it is not obligatory).

QAUM:- Literally: nation. A nation is an aggregation of people who have a common religion, culture, language, history, race etc. and inhabit mainly in a common zone. The Sikhs are not a mere religion or a way of life. The Sikhs are a nation and almost a separate race. They have distinct culture, history, heroes, race-mentality, language; and are inhabitants of a conjunctive geographical zone i.e. the land of the five rivers. In 1979, Jathedar Gurcharan Singh Tohra re-asserted that "the Sikhs are a Nation." Alike resolutions were passed by the S.G.P.C. and the Akali Dal. On March 15, 1981, the Sikh Educational Conference passed the same resolution. On April 21, 1981, Jathedar Gurdial Singh Ajnoha, the caretaker of Akal Takht Sahib, confirmed the same from Takht Sahib. The British House of Lords, in a verdict, in 1983, too, confirmed the same. The Sikhs had been ruling most of the territory of the Sikh Homeland till 1849 and some parts till 1948. In 1947, the whole of the Sikh zone was divided into two parts: one became a part of Pakistan and the other was compelled to become a part of a Hindu-Sikh union. The Sikhs have been struggling for the re-achievement of their sovereignty.

RAJ KAREGA KHALSA:- To be pronounced as Raaj Karegaa Khaalsaa. Literally: the Khalsa shall always remain sovereign. It is the Sikhs' commitment to their national status. It is the resolve of the Sikh nation that they shall not barter their sovereignty with any thing.

SARBAT KHALSA:- Literally, Sarbat Khalsa means the Sikh nation as a whole. In the context of the Sikh polity, Sarbat Khalsa is an assembly of the representatives of all the Sikh organizations loyal to Akal Takht Sahib. Historically, the tradition goes back to the eighteenth century. There have been several Sarbat Khalsa meetings in the eighteenth century. In 1805, (Maharaja) Ranjit Singh stopped Sarbat Khalsa meetings. This institution has its foundation in the grant of the leadership of the Sikh nation to the Panth Khalsa by Guru Gobind Singh Sahib, in 1708. All the national resolves are made by the Sikh nation in the gatherings of the Sarbat Khalsa. Even the national prayer of the Sikhs is on the behalf of the Sarbat Khalsa: (Prathame sarbat khalsa ji di ardaas hai..." The first sentence of the second part of the Sikh Ardas). Sarbat Khalsa does not mean a huge gathering of the Sikhs as some Sikh activists claimed about the gathering of January 26, 1986 and after. In other words, the Sarbat Khalsa is the Parliament of the Sikh nation.

S.G.P.C:- Abbreviation for the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee. The S.G.P.C. is a body, elected through adult franchise, for the management of the historical Sikh shrines, listed in the Schedule of the Gurdwara Act-1925. This Act covers several Gurdwaras of the Punjab, Haryana, Himanchal and Chandigarh as well as several Gurdwaras left in Pakistan. The management of the Gurdwaras left in Pakistan is just symbolic because it is Pakistan Government (through AUQAF) which controls the shrines. The elections to the S.G.P.C. are (supposed to be) held after every five years; though since 1965, the elections were held only once (in 1979). Shiromani Akali Dal has always won the elections with a majority of more than 90 % of the total seats. The Indian government, through its yes-men, tried to capture the S.G.P.C. but could not succeed. The S.G.P.C. has a vast budget. It is like a "State within a State". The Indian regime has passed a law (the Hindus being the majority they can pass any law, even for the non-Hindu institutes) that all the donations by the Sikhs, particularly by the Sikhs who live abroad, to the S.G.P.C., must be cleared by the Ministry of Finance. The S.G.P.C., in a way is the "Parliament of the Sikhs". Ideologically speaking, the system of the election of the S.G.P.C. is not in consonance with the Sikh ideology. There should be a difference of selection of the management of a political organization, a club, a union and a Gurdwara.

SHIROMANI AKALI DAL:- (Shiromani) Akali Dal is the primary organization of the Sikhs. Akali Dal was formed on December 14, 1920, at Akal Takht Sahib, Amritsar. The first organizational elections were held on January 24, 1921. Bhai Sarmukh Singh Jhabal was selected the first Jathedar (president). Its first name was Akali Dal. To distinguish the central body from the provincial Jathas, prefix Shiromani (literally: the foremost) was added on March 29, 1922. The Akali Dal represents the major section (more than 95%) of the Sikhs. It may have several groups or factions, but it is the only organization which represents the interests of the Sikhs. The Akali Dal has been ruling the Punjab for several years. If there are fair elections in the Punjab, the Akali Dal shall always win. Akali Dal had to launch several agitations for the preservation of the identity and entity of the Sikhs and for the rights of the Sikhs. During these agitations, hundreds of thousands of the Sikhs courted arrests and thousands Sikhs have embraced martyrdom. Also see: Akali.

SIKH HOMELAND:- The country of the Sikhs. The present Punjab and Chandigarh, most of the area in the Punjab province of Pakistan, some areas of Haryana, Himanchal, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh (doon valley), Delhi comprise the Sikh zone. In political context, the Sikh political zone (Khalsa-stan) comprises of the area between the rivers Raavi and Yamuna etc. This is the Sikh Homeland proper, for which the Sikhs have been struggling to form as their autonomous country.

SIKH RAJ:- Literally: the rule of the Sikh nation. The Sikhs had been ruling their homeland during the periods of 1709 and 1716 and between 1762 and 1790. Besides the Sikh kings had been ruling the Sikh homeland up to 1849 and also partly up to 1948 (in PEPSU). The Sikhs have been struggling for the return of their sovereignty which they lost (the major part) in 1849 and the rest in 1948. Also see: Akal Takht Sahib, Baba Banda Singh Bahadur, Khalsaji De Boal Bale, Khalistan, Khalsa-stan, Miri and Piri, Qaum, Raj Karega Khalsa, Takht etc.

SINGH SAHIB:- Literally: "the master of the Singhs". This term had been used for Guru Gobind Singh Sahib. It must not be used for any other person as no one can be the Master of the Singhs. (Maharaja) Ranjit Singh liked to be called Singh Sahib. This might have been born out of the attitude of flattery of Ranjit Singh by the officials of his court. In the twentieth century, the senior Granthis of Gurdwaras and the caretakers of the Khalsa thrones are also called Singh Sahib. This is another act of ignorance being done by the managements of the Sikh institutions by the illiterate leaders of the Sikh nation. Also see: Sahib.

SRI SAHIB JI SAHAI:- Sri Sahib means "the Sikh sword", the Sword of the Almighty, the power of the Almighty (in other words the Almighty) and the word Sahaai means "may protect". This is a part of the Sikhs' national supplication to the Almighty that the Sikh nation may always have the protection of the "Sword of the Almighty" (in other words the Almighty Himself) .

TAKHTS (Khalsa):- Literally: throne. A Sikh is obliged to be loyal to the Almighty and His Throne (Akal Takht Sahib). The concept of Akal Takht Sahib and the doctrine of Miri and Piri mean that a Sikh can not be a subject of any other power except the Almighty. The Sikhs are the subjects of the Almighty (Khalsa Akal Purakh ki fauj: meaning the Khalsa is the personal army of the Almighty). The oaths taken by the Sikhs to become the citizens of some countries are not in contravention of this principle because the oath for citizenship is a political formality; and; it does not control the mind and the body of the Khalsa. It is just a procedural oath. Also see: Akal Takht Sahib. For details see: Akal Takht Sahib by Dr. Harjinder Singh Dilgeer (the author).


For more entries about Sikh polity, please consult:
The SIKH REFERENCE BOOK by Dr Harjinder Singh Dilgeer.
This book has 4000 entries about Sikh culture, Sikh theology, Sikh polity, Sikh literature, Sikh personalities, Sikh towns, Sikh shrines etc. Besides it has a comprehensive CHRONOLOGY of Sikh history from 1469 to 1996.

Published by: SINGH BROTHERS, Amritsar. Available from several shops. Can even buy on internet.

 


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