Last Names — The Changing Dynamic

Gone are the times when Guru Ji’s Sikh could be identified standing amidst tens of thousands, with each passing day Sikhs are losing their identity. It is a well-known fact that Sikhs are cutting their hair and losing their identity. There are many attempts made by various Sikh groups to keep Sikhs from losing the outer appearance of a Sikh. But when will Sikhs wake up and realize that Sikhs are losing their appearance on paper also. With changing dynamic of last names, Sikhs no longer stand out. Sikhs have changed their given last name completely, distorted the name Guru Ji blessed them with and in some cases created a whole new last name.

It was simple enough that all Sikh men would be known as Singh and the women would be known as Kaur. Those would become their last names in place of caste revealing last names and promote brotherhood/sisterhood between all Sikhs. But alas, the unity of the Sikhs gets distorted as the last name of female Sikhs is distorted. In recent times we have more and more women beginning to use the last name Singh, to match their husbands and in some cases to satisfy their feminist thoughts. Whatever the logic behind this change might be, it is not correct because Guru Gobind Singh’s hukam cannot be changed. Sikhs are all for sex equality but not at the price of Sikhs core beliefs. With Sikh men and women having same last name on paper it looks very wrong and distorted to anyone that is aware of Kaur and Singh as Sikh last names. It is also very difficult to explain to non-Sikhs way some Sikhs choose to not to keep the normal Sikh names. Women need to put in the extra effort to understanding what it means to be a princess and explain to others what it means, not take the easy way out of changing their name.

It is not just women taking the easy way out, many Sikhs in general have taken the easy way out by adopting their family name as their last name. Instead of one big family of Singhs and Kaurs, we have many smaller groups of Gerwal, Gill, Dhaliwal and etc. It is bad enough that the family is being divided but in many cases the last names used are used to show difference based on caste. Many argue that it is easier to use a different last name then Singh or Kaur because of large number of people with this last name can cause much confusion and sometimes unwanted trouble. The Sikhs that once upon a time would rather receive martyrdom then go against the teachings of Sikh Guru Jis are now going against them for sake of convenience. All Sikhs that have taken to using different last names should consider moving these new last names to the place of the middle name and use Singh or Kaur for the last name, as it was meant to be. This way the Sikh family is not divided into multiple smaller groups based on last name and the middle name can be used to tell people apart, if needed. The united provided by Singh and Kaur is priceless.

The unity can’t be duplicated by using other Sikhi last names, like Khalsa. Guru Gobind Singh Ji did not give us the last name Khalsa and we should avoid using it. In ardass we say ‘sikhan da man nivan, mat uchi, mat da rakha ap Waheguru.’ How can we humbly ask Waheguru Ji to protect our high thinking, if we ourselves portray ourselves as Khalsa, the pure one? The moment we start saying we are pure one, we start saying we are better than someone else. True Sikhs don’t do that, we don’t knowingly add Khalsa and promote ourselves as pure. Let us take Khalsa out of our name and go back to being the Khalsa Guru Gobind Singh Ji wanted us to be.

To be a true Sikh we have to take amrit and become Guru Gobind Singh’s khalsa without any affiliation to anyone else. A true sikh is kaur or singh, nothing else. Waheguru Ji please bless Sikhs to use the beautiful name given by Guru Gobind Singh Ji.

 

Sources: http://www.sikhsangat.org/2010/10/last-names-the-changing-dynamic/

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