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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

"Golf Digest" Magazine made Guru Arjan Dev Ji into a Golfing Guru.

Recently the good ol' family was in town for my Cousin's wedding, which were good times had by all. I always enjoy times like this as it allows for all my uncles/aunts and cousins to get together and just forget about our worries. I especially enjoy watching my Parents interact with their brothers and sisters, as they too in ways become like children again enjoying each others company.

However, I was presented one worry during this time that I was totally not expecting. And this worry came from the weirdest place of all… the May 2008 Golf Digest magazine.

My Masi Ji's son, Harjit Singh Sandhar, presented a thought to me after he landed in the DC area from his air trip from Tulsa. While killing time on the plane ride, he decided to open up the latest addition of Golf Digest as he is an avid golfer. While flipping through the pages, he started to read one article called the "Golf Guru." This article allows for readers, like Harjit, to write and pose their various golfing questions. Then the authors then answer the various questions as if they are the gurus to the game of golf, hence the whole "Golf Guru" article a play on

However at the conclusion of the "Golf Guru" article on page 66, Harjit noticed something strangely familiar but couldn’t figure out what. As seen in the scanned image below of page 66, the pictorial image of what is suppose to represent the "Golfing Guru" seemed strangely familiar:

Page 66 of the May 2008 Golf Digest magazine.
Page 66 of the May 2008 Golf Digest magazine, at the conclusion of the “Golf Guru” article.

A closer look…
A closer look…

Harjit and I kept thinking that this image was familiar from somewhere. If you took away the golf club and the golf glove it appeared to represent a Sikh Guru, but we could not pinpoint which one. Harjit kept thinking the image was of Guru Ram Das Ji, but I wasn’t convinced.

So after some thought, I started to think as if I was part of the graphics art team of Golf Digest. Here’s an article on the “Golf Guru,” and they want me to make an image for it? Hmmm… maybe Google images can help out?

With that thought in my mind, I went to Google images and did a search on “guru.” After doing a search, take a look at the far right most image. It appears to be a “guru” like character, as seen in the image below:

Something looks fishy…
“Hmmm, that looks like a guru to me,” thought the graphics arts department at Golf Digest.

However when you click on the image, it becomes very clear where Golf Digest got their inspiration for the “Golfing Guru.” It is none other than the Sikh’s Fifth Religious Prophet, Guru Arjan Dev Ji:

Guru Arjan Dev Ji, the Fifth Guru of the Sikh Religion.
Guru Arjan Dev Ji, who is not a “Golfing Guru.”

And for fun, let’s just do a side by side comparison:

Desecration of Guru Arjan Dev Ji.
Sorry Golf Digest, you are guilty.

So clearly Golf Digest didn’t do their homework when selecting an image of a “guru” for their article. They went with their stereotypical gut of what appears to be a “guru” like figure without doing any homework to who Guru Arjan Dev Ji is.

If they had done their homework, they would have realized that Guru Arjan Dev Ji is a major figure for the Sikh religion. They would have realized how he stood for civil and human rights for all people regardless of faith, creed, or gender. They would have realized that Guru Arjan Dev Ji was the principle architect for both the city of Amritsar and Harimandar Sahib, which is popularly known as the Golden Temple. Furthermore they would have realized how he was the Sikh Guru who created the first compilation of Sikh scriptures known as the Adi Granth, which laid the foundation for its current compilation known as the Guru Granth Sahib (the 11th and immortal Guru for the Sikh faith) and consists of almost half of his teaching. Furthermore if they did their homework, they would have realized that Guru Arjan Dev Ji compiled a special prayer known as Sukhmani Sahib which calls for universal world peace.

And finally if Golf Digest did their homework, they would have realized that Guru Arjan Dev Ji was martyred for his beliefs that worked to benefit all of society, whether it was a Sikh or Non-Sikh.

But they didn’t do their homework. So what do we get? A doctored image of Guru Arjan Dev Ji as a “Golfing Guru.”

Totally pathetic and sad.

Unlike followers of Islam, Sikhs have allowed for artistic works to represent their Gurus and major historical events. It allows for their adherents to remember the message of Sikhism through artistic portrayals. But unlike some other religions who may verbally scold individuals for doctoring their faith (like Kanye did to Jesus on Rolling Stone), Sikhism has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to desicration of their religious figures. Anyone remember that idiot Gurmeet Ram Rahim?

Sorry Editor in Chief Jerry Tarde of Golf Digest, looks like you got a whole lot of hurt coming your way.

Oh yeah, you can email Jerry here.

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