I’m very critical of most religious beliefs, especially when those beliefs cause or allow physical or emotional harm to come to others. However, here are two examples of Sikhs who saved lives by focusing on helping others rather than the paraphernalia associated with their religion.
The first from May of this year :
Mr Singh, 22, was at home when he heard car wheels screeching, and then a commotion, and ran outside to investigate. “I saw a child down on the ground and a lady was holding him. His head was bleeding, so I unveiled my turban and put it under his head.”
The child was taken to hospital and survived.
The second happened just this week.
The boys, who had come for the immersion of Ganesha idols at Sular Ghat, had got into the water.
But suddenly, as a gush of water came, four of the boys lost their footing and got washed away.
As a hue and cry started, Inderpal Singh — who was sitting on embankment of the canal watching the immersion — promptly took off his turban and tossed one end of it at the youths and pulled them in.
…On the other bank, Kanwaljit Singh followed suit. “My immediate reaction was to jump into the canal and try to save them. But I cannot swim. So I removed my turban and used it to save the boys,” he said.
Sikh’s are expected to keep their at all times except in their own homes.
Sikhs are meant to keep hair in its natural unaltered state. In addition to maintaining long hair themselves, Sikh parents are to keep their children’s hair intact from birth onwards. Covering long hair with a turban helps to protect it from becoming tangled, or coming in contact with pollutants. when a Sikh becomes initiated as Khalsa, amrit nectar is sprinkled directly on the kes (hair). The Khalsa initiates consider the kes to be sacred thereafter. The Sikh code of conduct forbids dishonoring any hair.
However, there can be reasons to remove the turban:
At the same time, there is a great deal of responsibility accompanied by the turban. A person’s actions are no longer just tied to him or her. Since Sikhs who wear the turban represent the Guru, their actions too reflect on the Guru and the Sikh Nation. In this sense, the turban serves to increase a Sikh’s commitment to Sikhism and lends to his or her becoming a more disciplined and virtuous person. The turban certainly deepens the connection between the Sikh and the Guru. The turban proclaims the followers of Guru Nanak as Sikhs but at the same time, it is not what makes them Sikhs.
Keeping the goals of your beliefs is more important than maintaining the trappings at all costs. Kudos to these men.