This is such a bizarre story. Apparently a fight kicked off between Sikhs in Vienna, Austria, with the result that Sikhs across Punjab got angry and started rioting. I swear, people don’t need much excuses in India to start burning shit.
Sant Ramanand, 57, was attacked by six men with knifes and a pistol at a ceremony in a Vienna gurdwara on Sunday. It is thought that Ramanand, from the Dera Sach Khand sect â€“ a low caste Sikh sect that is widespread in Punjab and made up largely of Untouchables or Dalits â€“ was targeted by Jat Sikhs â€“ a higher caste, landowning sect â€“ who accused him of disrespecting the religion when he visited the gurdwara.
That, to me, looks like another one of those cases where Jat Sikhs (a grouping my family unfortunately belongs to) swagger around telling everyone who is a proper Sikh and who isn’t, and who is a fake Sikh etc. I’m not surprised that lower-caste Sikhs in Punjab are angry. But street riots?
This article in the Times of India says it has put caste in the spotlight. And here’s the shameful thing – Sikhs are not supposed to follow the Hindu caste system at all. It is strictly forbidden. And yet Jat (landowner) Sikhs, who see themselves at the top of the pecking order, are the worst offenders in perpetuating caste differences. Annoys the hell out of me.
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Filed in: India,Organisations,Sikh,South Asia