The article, ‘Deciphering Deras’ factually is very correct but scientifically and geometrically left explained and concluded as to who is at fault?
Why is the mainstream Sikh clergy opposed to deras? It is of the views that the deras do not follow the tenets laid down by the Sikh gurus, including the one that there cannot be a living guru. The clergy also believes that the deras were bent upon distorting the teachings and were trying to wean away the faithfuls from Gurdwaras.
Why do people flock to deras in such large numbers? The members of Scheduled Castes and other “lower castes” nurse the grouse that they are discriminated against by the “higher caste” Sikhs. They also hold the view that the “higher caste” Sikhs, that is Jats, do not allow those from other castes to hold responsible positions in gurdwara management committees.
Who are the main followers of the deras? The majority of the members belong to the so-called “lower castes,” that is, members of Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes. How are these different from mainstream Sikhism? Most of these deras teach respect and reverence for Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of Sikhs, and other religious scriptures. However, they either provide their own interpretation or add to what is there in the Guru Granth Sahib.
How do the deras get power and their legitimacy? Since the followers of these deras go by the diktat of their living guru, they constitute solid vote banks. The visits and obeisance paid by top politicians give them legitimacy. Dera Sacha Sauda followers, for instance, are considered to be a force to reckon with in the Malwa region of Punjab.
The problem is more political than religious and the fault lies with the politicians in view of the following conclusion based on facts given in the article, ‘Deciphering Deras’ by Vipin Pubby:
“The people involved in clash against each other in the name of religion i.e. Sikhism are disobeying Sri Guru Granth Sahib in its letter and spirit openly and following it in violence as the true Sikhs should always believe in casteless and classless society including the one that there cannot be a living guru.
The immoral politicians are supporting such mean characters that are disobeying the teachings of Guru Granth Sahib in their day today life. Here question is: as to how do the deras get power and their legitimacy? The answer is that the visits and obeisance paid by top politicians give Deras legitimacy.”
May 26, 2009
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