What is a Kirpan?
A Kirpan is like a small sword, usually made of Iron and all baptised Sikhs (such as myself) carry one with them at all times. Usually a Kirpan is referred to as a dagger and can be construed as a weapon; this is just an unfortunate misconception.
Sikhs carry a Kirpan to protect the weak and needy, and it is only drawn as a last resort. This article of faith has always stood for self-defence and comes with the responsibility to defend the lives of all, no matter of race, caste, or creed.
The root meaning of the Kirpan is mercy (kirpa) and honour (aan). So when you see a Sikh who is carrying a Kirpan, I hope you can smile and think to yourself, that person’s duty is to serve the one human race with kindness and compassion and protect us in times of need.
We live in a world of misunderstandings, especially when it comes to human beings from certain backgrounds. Often people are generalised, such as seeing an individual with a turban on and labelling them terrorist, when it’s common sense to say that a terrorist is not distinguished by their appearance only by their action.
I hope this small awareness can provide some understanding in a world of misguided hate. I hear countless times people with a non-Sikh background always ask, “Why aren’t you spreading Sikhi?” They say this because they see the beauty in this lifestyle, they have educated themselves, and appreciate that the message of Sikhs is about love and nothing more.
You may have heard about the terrorist attack in Wisconsin where a man, who supported views of white supremacy, entered a Sikh Gurdwara and killed six innocent people before being killed himself. I hope you can pass on this awareness with friends, family and through your social media channels. The only way the world is going to become a place of peace and love over violence and hate is if we all work as one and show unity. There is nothing that can overcome love.