Kids Corner


Blind Men of Hindoostan





Those were the days of mass migration of Sikhs to Punjab from other states of the country after the 1984 carnage.

I was living in a small town of Punjab, which was also affected by the fallout from the pogrom across the country. Overall, there was an atmosphere of grief and sympathy for those who had suffered during this turmoil. People were welcoming such displaced persons with open arms and doing everything to make them comfortable.

During those days, a distinct personality arrived in town from Delhi. He had a towering personality. His beard was so long that it touched his knees. He had shifted to our town because his distant relatives lived there. He said that he was an engineer with the public works department (PWD) in Delhi.

He said he was deeply disturbed by the 1984 anti-Sikh pogrom in the national capital. He had resigned from his job as he did not feel safe living in Delhi and also wanted to return to his roots and do his bit now that he was financially stable. He declined help from relatives, bought a home in an upcoming locality of the town and started performing 'kirtan' at his house. His personality was such that in no time the number of his followers grew to hundreds.

He bought a five-acre farm in a nearby village. He used to go there in the morning and meditate for hours near the ramshackle tubewell in the field.

One fine day, the town was abuzz with news that a spring (chashma) had erupted where ‘sant ji‘ --  which is how his followers now addressed him -- was doing tapasya (meditation) for the last three months. Everybody wanted to go and see the miracle that had happened.

There was a beeline of all types of vehicles going towards that place. When I went there, the area was swarming with people. Tents had been set up, langars had started and kirtan was going on at the place.

All newspapers reported that a spring had erupted in the field and it was flowing continuously. People named the place Chashma Sahib and were thronging it for darshan of ‘sant ji‘.

The hoopla went on for a few days till an inquisitive youth went quietly to the place at night and unearthed the secret behind Chashma Sahib.

It turned out that the ‘engineer sahib’ had laid underground pipes from the tubewell to the place of his ‘meditation‘. After everything was in place, he had asked his followers to start digging at a particular place, claiming he had got a divine call. And lo and behold, water sprang from the ground!

The youth switched off the tubewell and the flow of water stopped.

The racket was busted in the morning. The followers dwindled but the scandal was the talk of the town for a few weeks. ‘Sant ji’ went back to Delhi, never to return.

We later heard that he was involved in a corruption case while in service. That was why he had fled Delhi in the first place.

[Courtesy: Hindustan Times. Edited for]
November 12, 2013

Conversation about this article

1: Hardev Singh (Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada), November 12, 2013, 10:32 AM.

Is this story concocted? If so it is mischievous. If not, it is disturbing. It's connection to the horrors of 1984 seems to undermine the pain suffered by so many. It also undermines the act of meditation and prayers under nefarious motives. What does the author have in mind?

2: Sunny Grewal (Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada), November 12, 2013, 11:08 AM.

It's a shame that some Sikhs are easily susceptible to such nonsense as Hindus. If they understood gurbani a little better, maybe we wouldn't have deras popping up all over Punjab.

3: Devinder Pal Singh (Delhi, India), November 13, 2013, 1:01 AM.

There were some fakes after the horrors of 1984. Being in Delhi, I am aware of lies told by some claimants of aid. It is the way things always happen in India.

4: Kaala  (Punjab), November 13, 2013, 10:19 AM.

India is the most corrupt and unethical country in the whole world. How else can one explain the enslavement of a country of this size for 1500 years?

5: H. Kaur (Canada), November 14, 2013, 4:35 AM.

Devinder Pal Singh ji, what about the people who never spoke about the horrors, for in your evil and disgusting land, women don't speak of being raped or gang-raped. What about the people who never spoke about the horrors for the government aid is attached with conditions. I find it interesting that this topic of fakers gets raised so soon after Sikhs have taken the 1984 killings of Sikhs to the United Nations. It serves India's interests certainly and would be a strategy they would engage in.

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