Rifts in Religion

The recent violence in state of Punjab once again has resurrected the issue of internal clash between sikh sects. Just two years back there was huge riot situation due to the controversy of impersonating of Guru Gobind Singh by Sacha Sauda leader Gurmeet Singh.

I believe the basic problem is the political influence on religious institutions and vice versa. The religion itself has never promoted caste or favorism to one kind of people over other. But then again, the influence of religious doctrines has been until the religious line; the doctrines were not successful in impacting the social and economic aspects of religion.[link - Sikhism as a ‘caste less’ religion] There was gap in Sikhism preachings while defining the socio-economic aspects of doctrine. Over the time, this gap has given rise to politcs and power-play between the different sects.

The attempt is to monopolise the master narrative of Sikh tradition, to eviscerate its diverse imaginings, and to concentrate power in organisations like the SGPC. You take all of these aspirations, and align them with religious politics and you will get the combustible mix that we are seeing in Punjab. [link]

The solution to the problem lies in the root of problem itself:

It is a truism that the conditions for generating an enlarged and liberal outlook are less a function of the doctrine of a religion, but more a product of the fragmentation of authority. When any tradition is comfortable with the idea that there is no monopoly over authority, over interpretation, it is more likely to be comfortable with internal dissent. [link]