Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh tells Puneet Nicholas Yadav in an interview that he believes Sikhism can provide a healing touch to strained relations between India and Pakistan. Excerpts:
During times of any crises when people of any religious or social minority are under threat, we see Sikhs as a community coming out in solidarity with the oppressed.
A minority community, I think, relates more easily to the suffering of another minority. And the Sikhs, as a community, have faced their own set of suppression and pain, which has sensitised them even more to the anguish of others. Besides, our Gurus, right from Guru Nanak Dev ji, have taught us the importance of seva (service), which, for Sikhs, has become a way of expressing love—a divine principle that is ingrained in our religion.
In India, where politics and community have been so vastly fragmented on religious lines, what are the lessons that we, as a people, can learn from Sikhism?
Sikhism teaches us about the oneness of God, the existence of an all-pervading supreme spirit. The Guru Granth Sahib embodies this philosophy as it opens with the words Ik Onkar, or One Supreme Being. So, if there is one God then how can people be different? Sikhism imbues in people a belief in unity of humankind, without borders or boundaries. It inspires people to follow the path of the universal truth, irrespective of caste, creed or religion.