Sikhs Reacting from Emotion & Anger

Sikhs Reacting from Emotion & Anger

As a result of some recent events in the news it made me think about how some Sikhs react to situations when something doesn’t go how they want it to. It has become more and more common for Sikhs to lash out in anger and violence when there are disagreements. If something "unjust" or "wrong" is done, rather than dealing with things peacefully and in a saintly way some people feel the need to use violence to solve their issues. Violence is never the answer and only breads more of the same. Look at where fanaticism has taken many people in the muslim world with suicide bombing and other crazy things. People justify violence in the name of religion. There has been more violence and death in the name of religion than anything else! It’s so wrong. As Sikhs we should never fall into that pitfall.

I heard about a radio show in UK where someone on the air said something along the lines of "Baba Deep Singh ji’s head was not cut all the way off, but was only severed, and that he wasn’t fighting with his head in the other hand." He later received death threats and other verbal assaults as a result. The stand that some take is that if something disgraceful or disrespectful is done that "we must stop them", and anger/violence is sometimes the reaction.

If I started a fight every time I had a problem with someone I would never have peace in my life and would be in constant conflict. In many martial arts they train you to have the discipline and self constraint to never use the techniques. They are in fact there for self defense, not aggressive attacks. One trains and hopes that they NEVER have to use these self defense techniques.

In this modern time actual fighting with someone is almost never needed. Our first line of defense has to be our mental discipline. We have to be in control of our mind and body. This only comes through meditation and discipline. If someone throws insults at you, do you react and let your emotions control you? Do you stay in control; give the person a smile and mentally bless the person so that they can see beyond their anger? God is in everyone and everything.

I look at these situations as little tests to see how controlled I am. It’s not easy, and it takes awareness so that you catch yourself and don’t loose control.  It’s an art of communication as well as mental control. Man Jeetay Jageeet. Conquer the mind and conquer the world – Guru Nanak Dev ji.

My prayer is that Sikhs never use violence and hate as the base for any actions. Through the power of prayer and peaceful action we can move mountains and create much more change then would ever be possible through use of hate/anger/violence.

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37 Responses to “Sikhs Reacting from Emotion & Anger”

  1. S says:

    I agree. Thanks for this. I’ve come across many situations where there is ignorance and hate involved against Sikhi. While I feel this brief heat of anger, I always remember to remain calm and feel blessed that I’m not in a state of ignorance/hate like the other person. I think Sikhs need to reflect back on the basics of what Guru Nanak Dev Ji taught because in the heat of the moment, people begin to feel this immediate need for defense. Violence should never be used to get bring life to thoughts, needs, etc.

    However, I do recognize the viewpoint of many Sikhs because this community has been pushed into the minority group countless times and they’ve almost become invisible and voiceless. It’s never easy for minorities to ever get their point across to someone who considers themselves above all else. Regardless, actions as this won’t ever help get the message across. It only escalates to pointless arguments…

    I just hope that such situations do not reflect the entire Sikh community.

  2. Antonia D'Onofrio says:


    In 99.9 percent of all cases involving uncontrolled anger (for example ransacking Congress Offices as recently happened) I agree with you. This however is one time when I have to say that the reaction of the journalist — though not justified per the teachings of Guru Nanak – should be taken seriously by all of us and mostly by the Congress government. And I fear that they will not. That will lead to more episodes like this one and escalating emotion.

    While the rule of law over emotion is the “message” of the Home Minister of India, Sikhs in India, including thousands of widows and children of the victims of the turbulence following the assassination of Indira Ghandi, have been waiting in good faith for justice. They have most of the time been ignored and marginalized, as the living evidence of genocide that cannot be seen and may not be heard. The Home Minister makes a suave and unruffled appeal to be patient and to wait again. However “logical” this is, it comes off as a cold and theoretical response to urgent suffering.

    You have followed the Tytler affair over the months, as have many others, I am sure. It has been marked by missed opportunities to show real compassion for innocent people who have suffered injustice. That is why throwing a shoe should be viewed as meek and even restrained, considering the rage that so many feel and the justice they believe they continue to be denied.

    “What happens to a raisin in the sun?” African American poet Langston Hughes asks in the poem Dream Deferred– The answer, It explodes.

    Sat Nam,

  3. Dear Gurumustuk Singh Khalsa Ji,

    I have nothing but respect for all the work you have done over the years, especially with Sikhnet. Your sewa has been invaluable and is much appreciated.

    In this case, though, I think you need to show some compassion to your sister and brother Sikhs who were actually there in 1984. Personally, I saw murdered my husnand, son, two unborn daughters and two brothers, and some cousins. You were not forced to stand by helpless as your husband or son was burnt alive; you were not forced to watch your wife and daughter – think of Anjan and Charandeep – repeatedly gang raped. You have not seen the word “Shaheed” in front of the names of those you love best. You never know what such will do to you until it actually happens.

    Those of us who were there have been waiting, pretty patiently, I think, for 25 years for justice. Then, the Government of India dangles a carrot in front of our noses in the form of the probable indictment against Jagdish Tytler. We regain hope. Then, a hard slap in the face! He is given a “clean chit.” Have you seen that picture of a gloating tytler walking down the street and then having the gall to claim that the Sikhs have always supported him?

    We have been provoked beyond endurance. We will react or we will explode – or maybe implode. We dare not hold all this inside of us.

    Look at this incident. It was a purely symbolic action. No one was hurt and the pain and frustration of many of us has been expressed. Dear brother, please put yourself in our shoes and show some compassion and understanding for us who have suffered what you have been spared.

    Guru ji gives us strength and hope and, of course, the specific Sikh virtue of chardi kala. Guru ji also gives us ouir Khalsa sisters and brothers to raise us up and help us out with their strength and hope and support when we need it.

    Chardi kala!

    • Mai Harinder Kaur, thank you for sharing your most heartfelt thoughts. You are right, I didn’t go through the harsh experiences that you and others have gone through and can only try my best to relate to how you and others feel. I can only relate from an outsider perspective, but sometimes this is good, since emotion can sometimes cloud our perspective. Unjust and terribly wrong things were done and I am not suggesting that we sugar coat things and forget them. I’m sorry if my post came across as as callous to you or others.

      My intention of this post is not to judge the anger and frustration related to 1984. The post wasn’t even really about 1984 (though this incident with the shoe throwing is). The incident just reminded me and made me think about how in so many situations Sikhs react out of anger and loose their meditative cool. It’s not about a specific situation, but about how we as a community respond to things.

      Sikhs are no stranger to sacrifice and hardship. Every day in the Ardas we remember those who sacrificed their lives and endured major hardship (to put it lightly). We REMEMBER them and get strength from their actions. Their actions and courage should be our touch-stone.

      Everything in my life I feel is part of the flow of Gods plan. Things happen that force us all to change, learn and grow. Without these things we might get stagnant. For whatever reason Sikhs have had to deal with many challenges in the past. We can grow from them, or they can bring us down. I also feel that while we need to learn from the past we also need to not get stuck in it. We need to look forward at who we are now and what we can do now.

      Sikhs are hurting, and I mean this in the spiritual sense. There is such an emptiness that people are feeling. The youth of today are searching but not having many real leaders and teachers to help them on this path. They have the examples of Gurdwara politics, fighting, anger, fanaticism and judgment by others.

      What I don’t like seeing is the forces of “hate” that grow as a result of feelings. There has become this wave of anger and anti-Indian sentiment that can be very counter productive. It’s not just about India either, it’s about how people relate to Sikhi and forcing their fanaticism on others. Every thing that we do sets and example for our youth. If we are constantly reacting to situations with anger, violence and hate we are only creating a cycle of more of this.

      So let us learn from all these situations and ensure that no matter what we have gone through that we act from a place of consciousness so that we make the right choices and Guru can guide our actions. It’s not about non-action but conscious action.

  4. jag says:

    To a large extent I agree with you. We sometimes do act with uncontrolled emotions when we perceive our beliefs are being challenged.
    But then it’s easy to talk about remaining calm and not displaying anger, but when people are pushed against a wall then they are likely to resort their primal instincts. After all we’re all human.
    However in regards to the above incident, that is related to the anger and frustration that Sikhs feel when they have not received any justice for 25 years, and murderers with political muscle get off scot free. I think Sikhs have been patient for a long time, but after multiple whitewashed enquiries and failed investigations – people are beginning to lose their patience.

  5. Simran Kaur says:

    Thank You Gurumustuk Veerji….. my sentiments echo yours exactly…I’m glad that after trying to explain the same thing to a few of our agitated Sikh brothers since yesterday, I know that there are many others who understand our Guru’s teachings like He wants us to.


  6. M Singh says:


    I, for one, applaud the shoe throwing. Everything in the Sikh community is not going to be resolved with a saintly resolve, and Guru Sahib never said to meditate only when injustice has been done. For nearly 25 years, virtually no justice has been served to the Sikh community. There are villages that have lost entire generations of Sikh youth to the police. Sikhs in Delhi were subject to targeted elimination in Nov. 1984 and are still targets. The courts have repeatedly been lax and failed to do anything. In fact, 1984 was simply a shock and awe campaign against the Sikhs, whereas the war has been raging ever since Guru Nanak Sahib rejected the janeoo to the present day. The weapons have changed from corruption of religious history and tradition, to swords and arrows, to guns, to media propaganda. One should never forget that our own Gurus condemned the corrupt and tyrannical regimes in Gurbani, never fearing to call out the Mughals and Brahmins (I am sure the Brahmins still wince in agnoy everytime the Asa Ki Vaar is read). From its foundation, Sikhism always has complemented the Saint aspect with the Soldier aspect, be it in word (as it was since its foundation) or action (since the martyrdom of Guru Arjun Sahib).

    What are the Sikhs supposed to do for justice? It is very difficult for anyone in the Western World to relate to our Indian brothers and sisters (I am an American myself, but was born and present in India during the 1984 Delhi genocide). We are accostumed to reporting things to the police and having some sort of action. There the police are the perpetrating agents of genocide! I mean just look at the current state of a Sikh who wakes up every morning in India: You wake up and face the media, which paints you are babbling, drunk, comedic baffoons every chance it gets (and those “Sikh” movies are the worst offenders), you face the people, who, due to the media, see you as the same. You have no support from your leaders, which are the biggest sell-outs the world has ever seen, and whenever a Sikh leader does take a stand, they are mysteriously replaced by another. The government fully authorizes the flooding of your state with drugs and alcohol to passify you (yes, there are completely dry states in India too…funny how the Punjab, which has such a large alcohol and drug problem has not had this addressed by any laws. Rather, it seems to be encouraged). The courts grant you no justice for any crimes…rather, your reporting it may get you imprisoned, tortured and killed.

    What recourse do the Sikhs have given these factors? At the minimum, Bhai Jarnail Singh has woken up the Indian residents to the fact that Sikhs have not forgotten the injustice served to them in a most graphical and attention grabbing manner. What use have all of the petitions and requests for justice been to the Sikhs? How many times did those please for justice make it to the media? This incident served as a true reminder to that government that the Sikhs will not forget 1984, despite the heavy efforts being made to dilute their very identitiy.

    We are a religion without a homeland. Who will back us in our peaceful endeavors for justice? Nobody. Nobody stands with you unless you have somethng to offer them. America will never try to get Sikhs justice…they have too much at stake economically to do so. Nor Britain, nor any other country. We have no economic gain for them to benefit from, why should they stick their necks out? And we all know that Sikhs will never be allowed to unify as a community – there are concerted efforts to split them at every angle, from the Bhaniaras, to the Ram Rahims, to the Nirankaris, to dividing Jathebandis, to replacing the Jathedars at a whim, to the Phoolas, who are the presonification of the Malech Khalsa, bound to maligh and strike terror in the Sikhs, to the RSS parchar – the very reason that a peaceful movement among the Sikhs will fail, as one group will slander/accuse/blame the other out of any positive initiative (history be my witness). We are a people without a home and must wake to the reality you cannot expect that the enemy will ever grant you justice. How can we expect that peaceful petitions would ever be heard and accepted by the very people who supported and encouraged our suppression? After all, who else gets political and judicial seats in India if not those who support the politicians? And are the politicians not the very people who perpetrated the crimes against the Sikhs?

    That shoe was thrown for every widow, orphan, tortured, raped and otherwise victimized Sikh in India. It represents the sheer frustration and anger of the complete dismissal of justice. That the Sikhs, who bled every drop for a country, would be betrayed by who they thought were their brothers and sisters – that was present in that shoe. That shoe was the collective anger of every dismissed court case against a perpetrator of the crimes against the Sikhs. That shoe was the voice of the countless Saroops of the Eternal Guru Granth Sahib Ji which were desecrated, destroyed and martyred in the pure expression of hate and sheer loathing of the very being of a Sikh.

    Finally, I leave you with the backdrop of history. When the Mughals first made invasions into India, they could have been fought back and defeated by the much larger Indian army. the priests, however, insisted that they pray to their Gods for salvation and it will be granted. So the populace prayed and prayed. Result: The much smaller invading force trampled over the populace and began their take over of India. Peaceful prayer and meditation have their place, but Guru Sahib did not give the Kirpan for no reason. I am well aware of the Zafarnama, which states that when all other means have failed, then and only then, is it just to take up the sword. So I pose the question: Have all other means failed for the Sikhs to get recourse? The answer is yes, or there would have been no need for the Sikh movement in the Punjab after 1984.

    My Ardaas goes to Bhai Jarnail Singh, who had put his own life on the line (who knows if he will face torture/threats to his family/murder) to make a statement that the Sikhs have been making in one form or another for the past 25 years and will continue to do so in one form or another.

    • “M Singh” if I read through the lines of your message it sounds like the heart of what you are saying is that “Many injustices were done to Sikh, Sikhs need their own homeland. All other means have failed and we must be aggressive ‘take up the sword’ to get what we are looking for”. This will only create more violence, death, pain, etc. Sikhi has no “Homeland”. Our home land is everywhere and in our hearts and minds not a piece of soil on the earth.

      I know this is a very sensitive topic and everyone has their opinions but in my opinion I don’t think violence is the answer. I often have feelings that I cannot do anything about certain situations (particularly related to injustice, govt corruption, etc particularly in USA) and feel that sadness and frustration. For myself I find that if I focus on the big issue I just stay frustrated. If I focus on the local and what I can do in my own community and in my life I feel a sense of accomplishment and that I can impact change.

      The power of prayer is very strong. Don’t underestimate the power of many Sikhs coming together in prayer to create change. You might think violence is the answer, but I think through prayer we can create the atmosphere of change and the consciousness in ourselves and others which will help make the change that needs to happen.

  7. M Singh says:


    I completely respect your views and encourage all Sikhs to continue to pray. In fact, every Sikh does pray for such in the Ardaas, asking for Sarbat Da Bhalaa.

    But I will leave a few examples for pondering:

    1) Chote Sahibzadae – Guru Gobind Singh Ji sent Gurbaksh Singh (Banda Singh Bahadur) to level Sirhind for the Shaheedi of his two younger sons. Could Guru Sahib have not simply offerred Ardaas and prayed? Keeping in mind that Sikh children much younger were killed and tortured in 1984 than the Sahibzadae.

    2) Massa Rangar – Bhai Sukha Singh and Mehtab Singh Ji went to make him accountable for his actions. Could the Sikh Panth not simply have done Ardaas for Rangar to come to his senses and for the whole of humanity? Keep in mind that many Gurudwarae were destroyed in 1984 and Harimandir Sahib is a Gurudwara.

    3) Anandpur Sahib – Guru Gobind Singh Ji had established his own Raaj at Anandpur Sahib. I know people claim that Guru Sahib never owned any land, but we will let actions speak for themselves. Guru Sahib built 5 forts in Anandpur Sahib to defend the Khalsa’s Birthplace and defended it against the onslaught of the combined Mughal/Kshytria army. If Guru Sahib never claimed any land as his own, then what was the purpose to build such forts and defend it against the onslaught of the empire?

    4) The Almighty as an aggressor – an interesting glimpse of history stems from Ahmed Shah Abdali’s destruction of the Harimandir Sahib. History documents that when Abdali had the Harimandir Sahib destroyed, a brick flew off the Harimandir Sahib and struck Abdali in the nose, a shot that proved fatal. It seems that even the Almighty took an aggressive stance against the desecration of a Gurudwara.

    5) The Kirpan as a Kakkar – it is not random that the Kirpan is an article of faith for the Sikh, the very word being a composite of two words, Kirpa (mercy) and Aan (dignity). If prayer was the only means, would this not have been replaced with a rosary? Combining this with the Zafarnama verse that when all other means fail and that every recourse has been attempted for justice without success, what is the alternative? The Sikh of the 20th Century, Sant Jarnail Singh Ji Khalsa stated that those who stand by with Kirpans and let injustices happen are criminals themselves. Now, here is a man who spent a lot of time doing peaceful parchar. What need did he have to arm himself and his instruct others to do so? Could not a God oriented man such as Sant Ji have easily advocated being peaceful?

    Bhai Sahib, violence is never the solution. Prayer is part of the solution, the solution the requires a spiritual, social and religious awakening amongst the Sikhs. No community will ever progress without such an awakening. When the Sikh community does have such an awakening, it will change the face of the world. But until then, such actions such as those of Bhai Jarnail Singh will continue. Sikhs cannot and will not go silently into the night or be cowed into submission. I will never advocate wonton violence nor do I encourage it, but I will not say that events such as Bhai Jarnail Singh’s were a simple act of anger and frustration that should be looked down upon. We could take a similar view on the two prisoners that burned Fake Nihung Phoola alive, saying that they should not have resorted to violence and rather have done prayer. But, the outcome could have been that upon release, Phoola continued his terror campaign against the Sikhs.

    Who is to say that Tytler and company are done perpetrating crimes? For all we know, they have honed in their experience and will be evenmore ruthlessly efficient at it (take KPS Gill for example…his experience in Punjab is serving him well at oppressing other states in India). Could we not simply pray that they never do it again? We do…again, embodied in the Sarbat Da Bhalaa, but these actions serve to remind the Sikhs and the world that what occured 25 years ago is not just textbook history. It is an open wound on the Sikhs that has salt poured on it every time people like Tytler and other genocidal masterminds are acquitted and given the green light to live and be REWARDED for their evil deeds.

    Sorry Bhai Sahib. I know our views on this topic will not match, but I write only to offer an alternate perspective. My years on the internet have taught that unless divinely blessed, one cannot change another’s views (hence the Mun Jeetae Jug Jeet Gurbani verse – only those who have conquered themselves can ever change the world), but rather consider this as an opportunity to give voice to the “other side”.

    Hope you stay in Chardi-Kalaa and never stop praying. There can never be enough praying in the world.

  8. Gurfateh Gurumustak Singh!!!

    I fully appreciate the role of anger which you were trying to highlight.

    But why do you believe that S. Jarnail Singh actually got angry? I have seen video multiple time and watch his interview with CNN-IBN.

    Look at the way he has thrown that shoe?? Thrown very carefully. It never hit any body. Within few minutes of incident, he said I am apologetic about the way I protested but the issue is valid. And look what happened. All the world media covered it . And in election year, 1984 Sikh Genocide suddenly came to limelight.

    A task very well executed.

    When we talk about basic human rights and social justice, India is very very different from United States. The whole context changes.

  9. Sarib Singh Khalsa says:

    When Guru Gobind Singh said “…when all other means have failed it is righteous to draw the sword…” he did not say or imply that we should act out of revenge or anger. On the contrary, there are countless examples from the lives of our Guru’s (including Guru Gobind Singh) that specifically contradict such behavior.

    Simply having feelings of anger or vengefulness does not meet the criteria of “all other means” having failed. These feelings must be shed in order for proper action and effective means to be considered.

  10. Harnavbir Singh says:

    Waheguru Jee ka Khalsa
    Waheguru Jee kee Fateh!

    “Knife is used by the doctors and the thieves alike.Difference lies in the reason why they use it.A thief uses it to kill someone but a doctor uses to save someone.”

    – Gyani Sant Singh Ji Maskeen

    Bir Ras should not be confused with anger.It is definitely not other “emotion”.Bir Ras will be there in man of God only,a person with devotion in his heart and prayers on his lips 24×7.

    Jai kaare Gjaavay
    Nihal Ho jaave
    Fateh Paave
    Sat SRi Akaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaalllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll

  11. Harnavbir Singh says:


    Waheguru Jee

    Anger blindfolds a person whereas Bir-Ras awakens a person.It gives the Soldier control over his weapon.

  12. singh says:

    My topic of conversation is different than what has been posted. I wanted to talk about the “the power of prayer” or Ardas. Sometimes when meeting people, situations, circumstances where you feel helpless, frustrated, angered or powerless.. you resort to Ardas. You say, God please help so and so. My question is about the balance or karma. I was always told that when a Sant or Baba does Ardas for you that they take on your karma. In my experience, I have found happiness in giving. So it kind of contradicts to what I was told but then again I don’t understand the laws of karma. I think most of us hold these kind of concepts in our mind that refrain us from doing good for others. We start thinking that it is other person(s) difficult karma, why should we get involved? Is it valid to have these judgments?

  13. Hari Singh Khalsa says:

    There’s one thing no one has mentioned yet and that is the incident of the Iraqi journalist throwing his shoe at Bush Jr. I commend Guru Mustuk for bringing up this topic, but I also agree with the comments that this was an acceptable form of protest. Shoe-throwing has gained international repute and recognition since the Iraq-Bush shoe-throwing incident, and I don’t believe this journalist intended to do anything more than register his protest in the same way the Iraqi journalist did it. For those that support Bush they thought the shoe-thrower should be thrown in jail, but for the vast majority of the world they saw his action as a protest from someone who felt completely non-empowered to do any other form of protest. The Iraqi journalist also said that it was a good-bye kiss from the widows and orphans of Iraq (his words were not widely reported in the Bush-friendly western media). Similarly I believe this was an acceptable form of protest as it ties into what is now a world-wide symbol. The shoe thrown hit and hurt no one and was unlikely thrown out of anger but just out of protest.

    Sikhs, but mostly the rest of India, need to do more to bring about whatever justice can still be had for the events of 1984, but this shoe-throwing symbol, does not indicate that we have attempted all methods of redressing a wrong. This is not the time for violent conflict, and anyone who says that it is I have innumerable challenges that they can confront within the Sikh community before we could ever be ready to try and “fight” for a homeland. These challenges can be met within the modern framework of India and the other countries in which Sikhs reside. For example, the Punjab police will not pick you up and torture you for getting Sikh youth off of drugs. If all of the people who believe that now is the time to pick up the sword were to focus on this one problem alone, we might make progress. Then they can work on the environmental degradation and pollution of the lands that the Gurus walked on (that’ll take several generations).

  14. Tejwant Singh says:

    Gurumustuk Singh,

    Guru Fateh.

    First of all I have admire your hard work and dedication for a long time and btw congratulations for being honoured by SALDEF. But I am sorry to say that you have missed the whole point here and twisted the true event without understanding the shoe throwing culture, of not fault of your own because you do not know the culture as you are not a Punjabi or from that part of the world, hence your jumping to conclusion without taking culture values into account made you mypoic in your thinking and also made you hastely conclude a protest an an angry burst instead.

    Just like the Italians, Punjabis speak loudly and to an outsider it may seem a burst of anger. I think you have not watched the White House daily briefings where things get “heated up” quite often but you would not claim them as anger, again because of the cultural thing.

    You were wrong to say that in the start of your blog where you claimed, “This Incident happened in New Delhi during Press conference when Sd Jarnail Singh Khalsa gets angry with one of the reply given by p Chidambaram. ”

    From what you wrote above one can logically conclude that the ends in you mind were that a Sikh showed his anger and Sikhs should not become angry, hence the means became all your other comments to justify your point.

    Then in your consequent responses to different posts you stuck to your guns – no violence intended here- despite some people showing your their different viewpoints than yours.

    I am sure you have watched both videos, the one in Baghdad where the journalist threw two shoes with anger at then President Bush and this one where Jarnail Singh threw one at Mr. Chidambaram. It was like the under hand throw. One can see from the velocity of the throw that it was more a protest than thrown out of anger although he was much closer to the minister than the Iraqi journalist was.

    Secondly, if one throws things with anger, it is to hurt someone. The minister in his TV interview said himself that Jarnail Singh did not mean to hurt him. Following is the video for you to watch in case you have missed it.

    Today,we have come to know that both of the candidates have taken themselves out from running for the elections and now The Prime Minister has asked for the probe:

    Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to explain the circumstances that led to the agency giving a clean chit to Jagdish Tytler, said reports.

    I would love to know what you think about all this which happened because of the protest by Jarnail Singh which you called it as an angry burst.

  15. Tejwant Singh, thank you for sharing your comments!

    Actually I was not making any judgment on Jarnail Singh. The first paragraph was a quote from the news that I just copied and pasted when the news first broke. I didn’t analyze it in great detail. Over the past day or so everyone has had a chance to process all this and see the outcome.

    This blog post wasn’t even about Jarnail Singh or him having or not having an outbreak of anger. It did however, remind me of how some Sikhs DO react in anger and so this news was just a lead into the topic. This is kind of a personal journal so I generally just write thoughts as they flow, so it won’t have the normal journalistic type format.

    See my below intro text pointing this out:

    Maybe he was trying to make a point to the world or maybe he just reacted out of anger. Without going into specifics of this particular case it just made me think about how some Sikhs react to situations when something doesn’t go how they want it to.

    I think protest is great. How it is done and with what consciousness, is what I am talking about in this post. If things are done from a place of anger, emotion, etc., then often the actions are not good because they are reactive in nature. When things are done consciously that is a whole other story.

  16. Tejwant Singh says:

    Gurmustuk Singh ji,

    Guru Fateh.

    Thanks for the response. You mean the title of your blog has nothing to do with the story of Jarnail Singh? If not then the title itself is misleading because that is not what took place. Suffice to say that the facts speak for themselves and they are due to the protest by Jarnail Singh. Changes happen like that and I hope they just do not stop there and next time no Sikh should feel the need to throw a shoe if he/she is provided the seat at the table of justice.

  17. Harnavbir Singh says:

    Sons and Daughters of the King of the Kings need not feel “helpless”.

    Satnaam! :)

  18. Harnavbir Singh says:

    and yeah,throwing shoe at someone is more of an insult in India than violence.

  19. Gaganjot Singh says:

    Gurmustuk Singh Ji

    Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

    I have always admired the good work done by you and your people but your this post has completely turned me off. How can you be so theoretical? Perhaps it is much easier to write such things from the comfort of your office. If you had endured what thousands of sikhs had to endure, your reaction would have been different.Quarter of a century has passed and there is no sign of justice. Is it not long enough? Justice delayed is justice denied. Anger is an emotion and being human beings we all get angry.If anger is subdued for along time, it can have serious ramifications. I am angry at your holier than thou attitude.Not admitting one’s mistake and being adamant is a sign of haume (ego) which is as evil as anger. At least Jarnail Singh Did admit that his reaction was not appropriate. Take a leaf out of his book and assuage the feelings of so many sikhs that you have hurt.

    I have never commented on Sikhnet before, but I was so upset that I had to.

    Bhul Chuk Maaf

    Gaganjot Singh

  20. Ravinder Kaur says:

    I agree with you gurmustuk, sometimes some sikhs take it to far and become too emotional.

    but i guess for some situations a lot of anger builds up due to the lack of understanding of sikhs and sikhism, sometimes sikhs are portrayed in such a negative matter through the media, in india or anywhere in the world, that some sikhs become so emotional and instead of trying to reason and be calm, they let angry emotions do the speaking.

    also, concerning the shoe thrown, india is a country where it is VERY difficult to receive any justice and the 1984 anti-sikh killings should not be forgotten or ignored by the indian government because if nothing is solved, then sikhs are going to continue feeling alienated from the indian government and the man who threw the shoe did a good thing, in my opinion, because he reminded the non-sikhs of india that sikhs have not forgotten that the people respsonsible for the killings (certain congress men) are not being punished but instead promoted and given higher status in the indian parliament.

  21. M Singh says:

    Satnam Ji,

    The comments left on this thread show a real difference in opinion in regards to certain issues. Mai Harinder Kaur, your post really opened my eyes and you can fully understand why there is a need to act with emotion and entering the realms of violence when justice is not done.

    But what I fail to understand is people are quoting the line from Zafarnama “When all means fail, it is right to raise the sword”. Do you realise Maharah has said when ALL means fail? How many of us are politically stable and powerful and can influence issues in india? Answer is very little and none. We want to be heard as sikhs and brand ourselves as holy servants of the almighty lord yet we are doing nothing to get there.

    Did Guru Hargobind Sahib not declare the importance of having political influence? You see these days, if I have a problem with an issue, it is not as simple as me picking up a sword and going around killing who I believe is the problem, this is not 1600s. You have to take it up through the courts, dominate your political influence!

    We need to educate ourselves, enter into politics, mainstream media if we really want justice. Being uneducated without political power and knowledge you think by throwing shoes will get you justice?

    Look at the jewish brotherhood, through education and political influence, they have so much power not even the media can brand them in a negative light! OPEN YOUR EYES AND EDUCATE YOURSELVES SO YOU CAN HAVE REAL INFLUENCE!!!!

  22. Jaspreet says:


    Everyone has reasons to justify their view point on “throwing of the shoe” incident. I would not want to get into debate as to what is the right way to interpret the teaching of the Guru, may the Guru, the almighty bless all with the sense to interpret and understand the teachings the way it ought to be.

    However, there is no denying the fact that an incident like this has achieved the objective of highlighting 1984 yet again,highlighting the injustice done to the Sikh families who have suffered silently for 25 years now.It has also achieved the objective of ensuring the tainted ministers cannot fight elections.

    I too agree that the way the shoe was hurled was by no means meant to hit the Indian minister,it was a form of protest as no other form of protest at this stage would have worked in achieving whatever little has been achieved.As sikhs we need to manage our anger but sometimes it is necessary to protest in a manner that highlights wrongdoing, as exposing malpractice and injustice is the duty of a sikh


  23. sarbjit singh says:

    Gurumustuk Singh Khalsa Ji have made a mistake this time. This is what a Sikh who has lost the lion in him i personally feel. Did being a vegetarian, yoga or doing meditation and being soft and gentle the cause?

    Where is the saint soldier in this Khalsa?

    Anyway i only want to say Sardar Jarnail Singh was not angry and did not aim the show at the minister (unlike the shoe thrown at ex-President Bush). He was also very peaceful when taken away. Sardar Jarnail Singh could have use full force and aimed the shoe directly at the minister. i think being that close it would have been a hit. Unlike Geoge Bush, this Hindu minister won’t have quick reflexes.

    think Gurumustuk Singh has misinterpreted the whole incident.

    Let me tell you that i was in Penang in 1984 and i was 16 year old. A few times Hindu guys would threaten me on the street when i was cycling to school. I was cornered one day on my way to school by a group of Hindus on motobikes. It scared the shit out of me. I can only imagine how it must have felt when the Hindus did not hold anything back in India during 1984.

  24. Sarib Singh Khalsa says:

    It is not a matter of bravery or lionheartedness, it is a matter of effectiveness. I think everyone shares the shoe throwers frustration and desire to see the rule of law function and justice be served in regard to the 84 riots. We can debate on whether the tactic was effective in making a difference or not.

    But the point Gurumustuk was trying to make was broader than this particular incident. I’m sure we all are familiar with events where disagreements even within the Sikh community that resulted in threats of violence or death, or even actual acts of violence or murder.

    Being a real Saint Soldier does not mean being quick to resort to abuse, threats, or violence. It means the opposite. A Saint Soldier has conquered his anger and ego and resorts to martial arts only in self defense or in defense of another, and only as a final resort.

    There is no place for hatred or anger in the mind of a Sikh of the Guru. Seeking justice is the right thing to do. It is our duty. Hate, pride, ego, anger only make us blind and easily manipulated.

  25. sarbjit singh says:

    Dear Sarib Singh,

    Like i have said again, there was no abuse, threats, or violence when Sardar Jarnail Singh passed the shoe (i don’t even think it was a throw, which is movements of hand over the head).

    It was all about making himself and many others heard. It is all about using a peaceful way of making a point. That is all it is. Familes and friends of those killed have tried for many years to speak BUT nothing has happended. So now it is about taking it to the next level. I fully support Sardar Jarnail Singh and what he did. He just went to the next level to make a point. Many youtube videos, websites and blogs and all of this with many visual images of what happened in 1984, and nothing has been done by the Indian government. Now the Khalsa will rise, slowly, gently and peacefully with a strong statement and voice. We have waited long enough since 1984. Long enough.

  26. Sarib Singh Khalsa says:

    Not sure if you read my second paragraph. I agree with Jarnail Singhs sentiments and his desire to see justice served. I’m not familiar enough with the Minister, the report he was talking about or the other specific details to have a firm opinion on whether throwing a shoe was the right thing to do under the circumstances. Perhaps it was the perfect action to bring attention to the issue and his protest, I don’t know. I can say that from a Western perspective the idea of throwing a shoe is somewhat ridiculous, borderline humorous. Not the light in which I would like to see these serious issues dealt with.

    In any case, whatever our personal view of this particular incident might be, I was speaking to Gurumustuks larger and very legitimate point. His post was not about the clip, it was about the quick resort to threats, abuse, and violence. Perhaps he could have chosen a more illustrative clip. Maybe something like news footage I’ve seen of shameful Gurdwara fights where swat teams had to be called in to intervene.

  27. Sarib Singh Khalsa Ji,

    Perhaps tossing a shoe is slightly humourous. Often humour is the best way to make a point. The ability to take humour from the most desperate circumstances is a part of chardi kala.

    Please do nor compare what Bhai Jarnail Singh did to those disgraceful “Gurudwara fights” that sicken almost all of us and cause the rest of the world to look on us as violent savages. He was registering a protest and what he did was really not violent. No one was injured, no one was supposed to be injured. And for the first time I can remember, nonSikhs are showing an interest in what happened in 1984.

    As to what you call “the quick resort to threats, abuse, and violence,” that does not apply to protests about 1984. I think 25 years precludes anything like a “quick retort.” We have been waiting for 25 years. We are tired of waiting!

    Chardi kala!

  28. J Kaur says:

    I am sorry Gurumustuk Singh veerji, as you can see, we have not reached the heights of enlightenmen, that’s why we are not getting your message. We Punjabi have become closer to the sunnis than the saint soldiers spirits that Guruji has intended. This is what happens when saintly people are pushed away from the religious core and slowly the soul or spiritual side of the religions is no longer there.

    You are lucky to be able experience Sikhi in its true sense. I find it difficult to follow gurus teachings the way I want to/understand within my local Sikh community. I am sorry to inform you that I have to socialise/mix/practice with spiritual people from other faiths to follow the teaching of my Guru Granth Sahib Ji and live my life according to what gurubani says.

    People can call me what ever they want to, but I want to fulfil my life goals…


  29. Robin Horton says:

    Curious to see how this plight unfolds

  30. Sarib Singh Khalsa says:

    Mai Harinder Kaur Ji,

    Gurumustuks original post was not about the effort to seek justice for the events of 1984. He was writing about “reacting with emotion & anger” in general.

    What I suggested was that his point might have been better demonstrated by one of the many painful news clip of fighting between Gurdwara management factions – INSTEAD – of the clip of Jarnail Singh’s well intentioned protest connected with such a sensitive and absolutely legitimate issue. I don’t think anybody posting here disagrees with Jarnail Singh’s motivation or intent.

    Chardi Kala!

  31. charanjit singh says:

    Sometimes slapping in the face ,if you get a chance,is the least you should do.

  32. Indy Singh says:

    Just today i came across youtube clip where a hindu user (it seems) was trying to mock Sikh shaheeds of 1984 and the person who uploaded the clip…instead of deleting his comment or challenging him in a dignified way launched into a real mouthful of abuse and it just made Sikhs look bad. In the end I felt strongly enough to message the guy who uploaded the clip and said to him his words made Sikhs look worse than the guy who had posted abusive comments in first place. Told him to first be a Sikh, talk like a Sikh then talk about Khalistan or trying to stick up for Sikhism.

    We have many youths who are proud to be Sikh nationalists but don’t know what a constitutes the deeds and thoughts of a true Sikh at heart.

    Having said that there is a time and a place for physical violence, when all means available fail for peace, justice and lifting of oppression it is righteous to use the guruji given rights of the exercise of arms.

  33. sarbjit singh says:

    I agree with Indy Singh’s comment on “We have many youths who are proud to be Sikh nationalists but don’t know what a constitutes the deeds and thoughts of a true Sikh at heart.”

  34. Avneet says:

    yup man jeete jag jeet…may all follow this phrase which is the root of the solution to every problem in this world!

  35. Parminder singh says:

    waheguru ji ka khalsa whaeguru ji ki fateh
    i am a sikh and proud to be one. i am a student of science and have this habit of understanding what i practice. sikhism is a very practical and a simple religion. no where in sikhism are contraversial statements or discrimination for anyone. sikh word itself means a “student” to learn. so a true practicing sikh should be tolerant first. but the situation today deeply saddens me. very recently because of an unfortunate incident in vienna, there is a mayhem in punjab, sikhs are burning the cars and trains!!!. i dont know what is going on? why dont people understand that sikhism is not about violence, its not about harming innocent people. sikhism was born on the principle to abolish any caste system. but ironically sikhs also have different castes, and there is evil discrimination being practiced till today in some parts of india among sikhs. ! these things sometimes really shake my faith. i feel helpless when i see the sorry state of sikhism in india.