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Distortions of Sikh History
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Bhai Vir Singh

During the late 19th century and early 20th century, scholars such as Bhai Vir Singh came across numerous practices within Sanatan Sikhism such as ‘Chandi’ worship, use of intoxicants (such as alcohol, cannabis, opium), ‘Chatka’, polygamy, and references to topics such as adultery, homosexuality, lesbianism, ‘napumsak’ (the third gender), etc. Considering such issues as being products of either ‘Hindu’ influence, ‘impure’ thoughts, or ‘manmat’ (practices that go against the teachings of the Sikh Gurus), the Tat Khalsa Singh Sabhia-sponsored scholars began to dismiss, or expunge, or destroy, or alter any text/manuscript that mentioned such subjects.


Bhai Vir Singh
Poet, intellectual, historian and scholar of the Tat Khalsa Singh Sabhia movement

In the early 20th century, the surreptitious Bhai Vir Singh decided to publish Rattan Singh Bhangu’s ‘Pracheen Panth Prakash’. He systematically expunged this great text and altered some portions of the original text, but still deviously presented it as an ‘edited’ version. He sought to remove all mention of ‘Chandi Pooja’ and alcohol and from it for such practices, were deemed as being too ‘Hindu’ for the insecure Tat Khalsa Singhs.

The former S.G.P.C.-elected Jathedar of the Akal Takht, Giani Kirpal Singh and editor of ‘Naveen Panth Prakash’ commented on the advice given him by some modern Sikhs:

‘When I was just transliterating the invocatory verses, then many Sikh gentlemen advised me to:
‘Erase those portions of it, which were against Guru’s thinking and Sikh history and in their place insert your own new verses. Like how, from Rattan Singh Bhangu’s work, ‘Panth Prakash’, Bhai Vir Singh removed some portions. In some places [Bhai Vir Singh] changed the wording such as that with regards to the invocation of ‘Chandi’ (NB. Chandi Pooja was carried out by Akali Nihang Guru Gobind Singh before the before creation of the Khalsa), etc., and, replacing the word ‘Sura’ (alcohol) with ‘Suda’ (Ambrosia/Khalsa initiation)’
I did not agree with those gentlemen’s above-said thinking, and I said that to cut out some writers original text and insert in new text of your own is a great injustice with the author and in the literary world is considered a great sin. Yes, regards the text the editor in foot notes can give his own views.
‘Siri Guru Panth Prakash’, editor Giani Kirpal Singh, 1970, Vol.1, Pa.3


Durga
Akali Nihang Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj tells the tale of how Durga vanquished the demons in 'Chandi di Vaar' (Dasam Guru Durbar)

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