1984 to 2015, it has been a long time and Punjab has come a long way, gone are the days when we used to observe whether the person we are talking to is of the same religion as ours or not. Today, Punjab is emerging as a secular power, it has given a new meaning to ‘unity in diversity’ and ‘love thy neighbor’. The popular belief that Guru Nanak Dev, the first Sikh guru, started Sikhism as a reform measure to stop people from preaching and reading the Hindu scriptures without actually understanding them and Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh guru, founded khalsa to protect Hindus from the Muslim oppression and atrocities, has helped in building a stronger and a more virtuous society.
Whatever the history may be, today the Hindus and Sikhs have moved forward and accepted that they belong to the same society and are equal. There are so many examples that we come across in our everyday lives which point only towards one thing – Hindus and Sikhs have united for the better and they are inseparable!
Hindu-Sikh marriages – Thanks to the open-minded society, inter-religious marriages are not a big deal anymore. We often come across couples where the girl is Hindu and the boy is Sikh or vice-versa. This has given a boost to the cordiality between Hindus and Sikhs and they have started accepting each other as a part of their family as well.
Festivals – Punjab is definitely a land of festivals and celebrations, it is often said that Punjabis need an excuse to celebrate anything and everything. In such a scenario, people barely think about whom the festival actually belongs to and they all come together to celebrate with immense love, crazy joy and unprecedented zeal. Festivals like Diwali and Holi are celebrated all over Punjab with unparalleled gusto.
Religious sentiments – The best thing that has happened over time is that Hindus and Sikhs have started respecting each other’s religious sentiments. Reiterating that Punjab has become secular is of utmost importance here. Everybody, regardless of their religion, worships God in all forms and lets other people worship God in whatever form they like. There is harmony and mutual respect for the beliefs and ideas of one another.
Friendship – Looking at the younger generation, we often wish we didn’t have a bad history to look back to. The example the youth is setting today is the ice breaker for so many adults. Learning from the younger ones, the older ones have started making friends and indefinable bonds across religious communities. Time may be the best healer but friendship is the bond of the highest order and it has proved to heal the wounds faster than time.
Humanism – A lot of Sikhs believe that more than anything else that may have acted as a catalyst in this particular brotherhood, the feeling of compassion and love for fellow human beings has strengthened the bond. Compassion and love unite people across boundaries – religious or other, and act as a binding force bringing them together for centuries to come.
Hoping for an even prosperous future, we are sure that this bond of friendship, love and compassion will shatter all the misconceptions there have ever been of hatred between the two communities. Hindus and Sikhs are like nail and flesh, united forever and inseparable.