Interview with Jatinderpal Singh
Congratulations on being chosen the first ever youth of the month from Punjab. Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
First of all my “Fathe” to all “Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh”. I am Jatinder Pal Singh from newly made district of Punjab “Sahebzada Ajeet Singh Nagar”. I am 26 years old & running my own business. We are four members in our family, my step-father lives is in Germany, my mom works in export industry and my younger sister is Punjab University graduate.
When did you first got seriously involved in sikhi? What inspired you to stop cutting your hair and become a true Sikh?
All credit goes to my mother because in my childhood she listened to Gurbani audios related to the Saakhi’s of our Guru sahibs. While growing up and seeing my mom listening to gurbani, i started to follow my moms footsteps. Sakhiaan of Guru Sahibs left great impression on my soul. Whenever I got pocket money, I immediately bought small posters of our Gurus & Sahibzadas and I posted these in my room. Having the posters, it always reminded me of their lives and sacrifices. By reading our Sikh history on how Mughals used to give so many different types of tortures to Sikhs just because they didn’t want to cut their hair, so it hit my mind that “Why i should cut my hair, while my forefathers didn’t?”. So one day i stopped cutting my hair and became keshadhari sikh.
When did you take Amrit and what was reason you wanted to go for Amrit ? How did taking amrit change your lifestyle? Have your family members been happy with your decision of following sikhi?
I took Amrit on 17 August 2003, at Anandpur Shaib. I wanted to take Amrit long back ago but i couldn’t because i always thought that i may not follow the real Sikhi and its Rehat Maryada. So around the year 2000, I started following the Sikhi path by not eating meat and started doing regular paath. Since taking amrit, my life became better than before because now I have more confidence, kindness and became responsible Sikh. I believe in equality and God being One. My whole lifestyle changed.
My family and our friends are all very happy about my decision to become rehitdhari sikh. My mother always inspired me and she always wanted to see me as full Sikh and one day her dream came true. she always told me that she wanted to see turban in her home. she has great affection with Turbans because my father always wore turban before he passed away.
Tell us if you participate in keertan, gatka, or any other sevas. How much do you enjoy doing it?
I would love to learn Gatka and Kirtan but I don’t have enough time to learn. But I do hope to learn in future. I have so many responsibilities towards my family. With gurus grace, I never miss any program of my local Gurdawara, I always go to listen gurbani and serve food in Langar and after Langar, I always enjoyed cleaning of utensils with other Gursikhs.
How did you feel when u got your first haircut? Did your friends play any role in it?
My soul still doesn’t know why I cut my hair. I have so much love and affection about Sikhism, but in some way cutting my hair helped me to think so much deeply about the real Sikhi so it haunted me every time i listened to all Saakhian of our great Martyrs and the love they had for their hair that they agreed to sacrifice their lives. It always encouraged me to become a true Sikh and I was always ashamed of myself. So one day Guru Ji bless me and I become a Sikh.
Yes my friends took me to get my hair cut. All of them were Non-Sikh, but they have didn’t have any intensions to kill my Sikhi. They just wanted to help me look handsome in worldly way. My mother was very angry when she saw me with cut hair and she did not talk to me for three days. It hurt my soul and I realized that I had committed a big sin.
Do you face enquiring looks/questions from the people when you go out in public in the khalsa dress?
Yes I faced many problems in public. Once I went to New Delhi Int’l Airport with my relatives and on the entry of New Delhi city we were stopped by the Police and they started harassing us. We came to know that at that time some Singhs had absconded from Burail Jail. The police pulled me out and start questioning me. Later on they let us go but it left a great impact on my life. My relative advised me to tie my beard and have it gelled. But I refused to do so, as i love to parkash my beard open. That event didn’t made me afraid but in fact it increased my love for Sikhism.
What is the level of parchar in your local area? What do u think about the level of sikhi in Punjab?
There is no doubt that many organizations are encouraging the youth and their parents about Sikhism. In our Gurudawars so many types of activities are being regularly organized, like turban competition, Kirtan competition, Gatkaa competition and reading of pure Bani or Paath. These activities are symbolic of good Parchar in my area, but I think that the Parchar should be more encouraging than now, and we also have to inspire other communities about basic principles of Sikhism.
I think that our young generation used to have great respect of Sikhism but recent media (Movies, songs) are destroying our younger generation. They are following hair styles of their favorite actors and actresses. If i had my way, I would suggest boycott on all channels showing songs, movies which are the main culprit and encourage Sikh youth to follow manmat. We need to encourage good family oriented TV channels.
What is your message for the Sikh youth all over the world?
All those who say that Sikhi should be in Mind and in heart but not in roop, they are wrong because this is our Sikhi Saroop which is given to us by Guru Gobind Singh ji. He gave this roop to us so that people can spot us among millions of people. I would request all sangat to keep your hair and wear Turban with pride.
I would like to give you one example that if you want to be a policeman or join the military, you have to enter the academy and you have to learn and follow the rules and teachings and finally you have to wear the police/military dress. Only then you will be recognized in the community and people can easily recognize you and have faith on you. In the same way, it is also important for us to follow the Sikh code of conduct if we want the love and blessings of our Guru Sahibs.
Please abandon all types of drugs and be genuine in life and never hurt anyone and always be ready to help, help the injured animals and protect nature and make a habit to donate 10% of your monthly income. Come into Sikhi Saroop and encourage others to do the same. In this way you will definitely find love, peace of mind & blessings of Waheguru.
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer the above questions,
and we hope you can continue to carry the torch of Sikhi and inspire others alike.
- Article thanks to UnitedSikhs.com Team