Amritdhari vs Gurbanidhari Sikhs

S. Jagpal Singh Tiwana’s concern (of Canada) is genuine when he writes that “Work for Unity” is a good idea, but it never worked in Sikh Jagat. Sikhs have been ever divided since Guru Gobind Singh ji left for his heavenly abode. Immediately we see there is Tat Khalsa vs Bandai Khalsa, down to Singh Sabha (Lahore) vs Singh Sabha (Amritsar), and later Tara Singh vs Fateh Singh. Now it is SGPC against DSGMC.This is going to stay that way.”

The above sentiment is further confirmed by the happenings around Akal Takhat Sahib, Ragi Darshan Singh saga and fights in Gurduaras in India, U. K., USA and Canada give promise of this continued rivalry in opposing factions.

The ongoing conflicts in Sikh World draw one’s attention to the personality make-up of two major groups among the Sikhs: The Amritdharis and Gurbanidharis who usually clash. There is another big group comprising of the so called-Sikhs (neither AD nor GD) who do not directly cause trouble on their own.

AD-Sikhs are those who have gone through the ‘Khandaiye de Pahul’ initiation. They read Nit-nem Banis every day and wear 5Ks as prescribed.

GD-Sikhs are those who read the Gurbani on daily basis.

Although both have the Gurbani component common yet they differ markedly in many respects. A general broad-based comparison of the two is given below with every possibility of exceptions in some elevated souls.

In appearance, the AD-Sikhs are normally pious looking, live in Guru’s (Guru Gobind Singh) sharan, gentle but introvert. They are conservative, simple in dress and life-style, egoistic but with less personal pride and socially less entertaining.

On the other hand the GD-Sikhs are generally smart, outgoing and extrovert. They love good life, less egoistic but more in vanity, live in Waheguru’s sharan and are more entertaining.

AD-Sikhs are conservative in education, limited in scholarship, generally satisfied with their lots, neither enterprising nor dashing.

GD-Sikhs are generally advanced in education, clever, with good entrepreneurs skills, dashing, international outlook, great scholars and adventurous.

At social level AD-Sikhs have strict lifestyle (dress, eating, drinking etc), remain with a select company of a few friends, do not mingle easily, not so talkative, tend to help their own community, non party going, strict with children/spouses who are generally not so happy.

GD-Sikhs are talkative, friendly, outgoing, tend to relax. They are friendly as husband/wife, generally happy and outgoing, help anyone, keep children and spouses generally happy, liberal with eating and drinking and in daily life style.

When it comes to the management of religious institutions, AD-Sikhs are generally strict and dictatorial in their outlook, more often prove as a source of trouble for other members of the Community. They keep themselves aloof from members of other faiths, rather bad managers and generally trouble makers.

GD-Sikhs are enterprising, cooperative, generally good managers, more democratic and peace makers when looking after the Sikh Institutions.

This is purely based on an analysis in dealing with the Sikhs in everyday life. Sorry for causing hurt to anyone.

Are their ways to bring them to understand each other better to buy peace in various Sikh Gurdwaras/Institutions to avoid public embarrassment for the entire community?

Kirpal Singh
Wellington, New Zealand

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