Monday, July 30, 2007

DSGMC Trying to do the Right Thing

At least the DSGMC is trying in some manner to address one of the issues that affect the desire to have a daughter for some people. The cost of a wedding is very prohibitive due to the anti-Sikh practice of giving dowry and some engage in the anti-Sikh practice of female foeticide as a result, which is just another name for child murder.

Curious how engaging in one anti-Sikh practice leads to another, even more horrible, anti-Sikh practice, both of which the Sikh Gurus banned. In fact, no one should associate at all with anyone who aborts or murders a girl child and I would suggest Akal Takht, if it hasn't already, extend the hukamnama to include abortion or murder of any child, male or female (I would put forward that by default Guru Gobind Singh Ji's ruling to avoid any social contact with people who murder a girl child includes those who would do the same to a boy).
Rejecting the idea of female inequality, Guru Nanak said: "Man is nourished in the womb and born from a woman; he is betrothed and married to a woman. Friendship is made with women and civilization originates from a woman. When a wife dies, another wife is sought because family affairs depend upon a woman. Why call her bad, from whom are born kings? From a woman another woman is born; none is born without a woman."

Guru Nanak specifically forbade the practices of widow "sati" (self-immolation on the pyre of her husband). He encouraged the remarriage of widows, which was unheard of in his time. He was gravely concerned about the practice of female infanticide. Not only is it forbidden to Sikhs, but a Sikh cannot associate with anyone who kills his female children. In the name of equality, Guru Nanak abolished the custom of the bride's family giving the groom dowry, since this encourages men to think of women as commercial commodities.

In Sikh society, a woman occupies a position equal to men and is not prevented from fulfilling her potential through education, religion, or profession.

Guru Gobind Singh made the Khalsa initiation ceremony open to men and women alike, a woman being just as worthy. At the time of Amrit a man is given the name Singh meaning lion, the woman is given the name Kaur, meaning Princess. A Sikh women is an individual in her own right, she does not have to take her husband's name and is Kaur till her death. Guru Gobind Singh did not see any distinction between the Khalsa, men or women could keep the 5 K's. Guru Gobind Singh issued orders forbidding the Khalsa having any association with those that practiced female infanticide. Guru Gobind Singh also forbade Sikhs to exercise any proprietary rights over women captured in battle, they could not be kept as slaves or wives but were to be treated with the utmost respect.

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