24th May in Dalit History – Death anniversary of Sant Ramanand Ji and Attack on Shri Guru Ravidass temple in Vienna (Austria)


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On the 24th of May, 2009, six Jat Sikhs (upper castes) men armed with daggers and guns entered the Shri Guru Ravidass Gurdwara in Vienna (Austria), and started shooting, aiming at the two visiting Sants (Sant Ramanand Ji and Sant Niranjan Dass Maharaj Ji) from Punjab, India who were giving a sermon at that time. The bloodshed by upper caste Jat Sikhs resulted in the death of Sant Ramanand Ji, who died of gun wounds, and the serious injuries to Sant Niranjan Dass Ji, the spiritual head of Dera Sachkhand Ballan, a religious centre for Dalits in the Punjab devoted to Guru Ravidass Ji.

Sant Ramanand Ji (on right side) and Sant Niranjan Dass Maharaj Ji

Sant Ramanand Ji (on right side) and Sant Niranjan Dass Maharaj Ji

Both Sants were on a mission to preach and spread the teaching of Shri Guru Ravidass Ji, enemies of humanity attacked and seriously injured and killed inside Shri Guru Ravidass Gurudwara in Vienna, Austria. More than 30 followers of Guru Ravidas Ji were also injured and eleven of them seriously. An email reportedly received by Radio Akash in London, purportedly from the Khalistan Zindabad Force, claimed responsibility for the attack.

A passenger train burns in Jalandhar, in the northern Indian state of Punjab as thousands of protesters take to the streets after an attack in a Sikh temple in Austria. (Source Daily Mail)

A passenger train burns in Jalandhar, in the northern Indian state of Punjab as thousands of protesters take to the streets after an attack in a Sikh temple in Austria. (Source Daily Mail)

When news of the death Sant Ramanand Ji spread, the Punjab erupted in violence, a state curfew was imposed, and the army was called in to restore order.

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After this unfortunate killings and attacks on Dalit leaders, Dalits in Punjab founded new religion, Ravidassia, and did get separate from Sikhism. At that time Akali Dal and SGPC did their best to please Dera Sachkhand Ballan, Jalandhar, so that Dalits don’t leave Sikhism but at the same time Akali Govt. arrested several Ravidas leaders campaigning for the new Ravidassia religion. Such a hypocrisy by so called Sikh leaders of the time. At present in Sikhism also one can see divisions as per caste system and so called Jat Sikhs think Sikhism is their personal property! Let me tell so called upper caste Jat Sikhs that Sikhism is not a property of anyone, it was founded to fight against injustice and caste discrimination but now there is no difference between Sikhs and Brahmins as both practice discrimination.

Sant Ramanand Ji is no more physically with us because of most unfortunate incidence at Vienna, Austria, but his noble thoughts shall always be with us to lead us on the right path.

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