United Kingdom’s (UK) Home Secretary Priti Patel’s has made reference to her job as “Sewa” during her speech at the Conservative Party’s annual conference.
During her keynote speech in Manchester, Priti Patel said:
“Our (Conservative Party) values embody service before self and this can be clearly defined by the Hindu word ‘sewa’, which can mean service, commitment and dedication to others.
Ensuring that the best interests of our country come first is what drives me every day. That is my responsibility and that is my service and that is our party.”
While Priti Patel received praise from dharmic-minded people, her political opponents, Hinduphobic academics and many supporters of the violent separatist Khalistan movement have leapt on this opportunity to ridicule her on social media platforms.
Well-known Indian journalist Chandra Prakash pointed out in his tweet how “Khalistanis are going mad over this statement of Priti Patel” as “they think that the Sewa of ISI and Christian missionaries is the only true service.”
Making fun of the slight slip in Priti Patel’s speech, Amandeep Madra OBE, the founder of the UK Punjab Heritage Association, tweeted: “Oi buddy, do you speak Hindi?”
Labor MP Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi quoted Madra on Twitter, highlighting how Sikhs are angry with her for using “Sewa” as a Hindu concept:
“Her comment is just so wrong on so many different levels. No wonder many Sikhs and others are outraged by it!”
A Sikh gentleman even tweeted that Priti Patel doesn’t know what “Sewa” actually means?
Another Indian-born Labor MP Preet Kaur Gill tweeted in similar vain:
Many Indians are delighted that Priti Patel had highlighted the Hindu concept of “Sewa” in her speech.
For the ill-informed, Anil Bhanot, Interfaith director of the Hindu Council UK, highlighted that that “Sewa” is a Hindu word in the same way as “dharma”.
Anil Bhanot told Indian media that Priti Patel intended to use it.
“Sewa is an ancient Hindu concept of the Vedas. It is selfless service without expecting any recognition, and it is performed by Nishkam Karma, as mentioned by Bhagwan Krishna in the Bhagwad Gita.
It is a Sanskrit word, not Hindi. Hindi did not exist then. Sikhs do langar sewa but the concept originated in Hinduism. Many Hindus do sewa.”
Although the Sikhs claim that their spiritual tradition is separate from Hinduism, any learned scholar of religious study can tell that Sikhism was a movement born within the Hindu tradition.
Guru Nanak, a Punjabi Hindu Khatri by birth, belonged to the Sant tradition of northern India. So, many of his early ideas are clearly from Hinduism, including the concept of “Sewa.”
Sant tradition itself drew heavily on the Vaishnava bhakti which presented “Sewa -dharma” and “Sewa-bhava” as the ultimate or most superior form of devotion to God.
The Hindu concept of “sewa,” considered as one of the biggest dharma or religious duty, is not a religious obligation and is based on total anonymity.
The selfless action of “Sewa” in Hinduism should be performed without any hopes of monetary benefits or material awards.
British Indians Voice tweeted thanking Rt Hon Priti Patel for her “Seva” and pointed to how it is related to the Hindu concept of “Karma.”
WATCH VIDEO: “Hindu concept of Sewa drives me in my work every day”: Priti Patel